Meal Plans

10 Expert Ways to Add Variety to Healthy Meals

Never get bored of eating the same old thing again.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Variety is the spice of life, and adding food variety to your diet is one of the best ways to not get bored of eating the same old thing. But, there are def healthy and not so healthy ways to pack in some variety. 

Hold tight because we’re sharing ten ways to add food variety to your diet that will actually help support a healthy diet. 

Get ready to learn all the info you need to make sure you’re munching on something yummy and healthy every time you sit down to eat. 

10 Food Variety Hacks That Will Help You Stay on Track With Your Healthy Eating Goals 

#1 Spice Things up 

Variety is truly the spice of life, and it can keep a healthy diet exciting (and delicious). To add food variety to your meals, try spicing things up with flavors you may not normally go for. 

Adding new spices to your go-to recipes is a great way to enjoy something a bit different than you usually would. 

Here are some great ways to get creative with herbs and spices: 

  • Like spicy food? Try using chili powder or cayenne pepper in tacos or even burgers! 
  • Make homemade sweet potato fries with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. 
  • Ditch the store-bought salad dressings and try making your own using olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and fresh herbs and spices like rosemary, thyme, and oregano. 
  • For a cheesy flavor without the cheese, try sprinkling nutritional yeast over pasta dishes and even salad — not only does it taste good, but it’s a great source of protein and b vitamins. 

#2 Add More Color to Your Dish

We all know the importance of eating our fruits and veggies, but adding more color to your dish is also a great way to add food variety to your diet. 

If your plate tend to look pretty blah when it comes to color, spruce things up a bit with colorful fruits and veggies you wouldn’t normally reach for. 

We’re talking:

  • Bell peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Celery 
  • Beets
  • Broccoli 
  • Berries 
  • Grapefruit 
  • Pomegranate 
  • Cherries 

#3 Get Creative With Leftovers

Leftovers are the bomb when it comes to saving you cook and clean up time in the kitchen. But, they can also be ah-mazing for adding food variety to a healthy diet. 

Here are three ways to use leftovers and boost the variety and flavors in your diet. 

  • Have leftover banana bread? Try making a healthier french toast and serve with fresh berries. 
  • Leftover ground beef? Try making beef tacos with some taco seasoning, salsa, and guacamole. 
  • Make a “kitchen sink” meal using any leftover protein (like chicken or beef), leftover veggies, and healthy carbs like quinoa served over a bowl of lettuce and drizzle with olive or avocado oil and balsamic vinegar (yum!) 

#4 Try Something You’ve Never Had Before

Be brave and try a cuisine you have never had before — never had Indian food? Branch out and try some chana or tikka masala! You may just find your new fav dish when you experiment with new foods that are packed full of flavor. 

You can also try a healthier option for foods you tend to gravitate towards — love Asian stir fry’s? Try making your own and swapping out the soy sauce for coconut aminos and adding more broccoli. You’ll be boosting the nutritional value and adding food variety at the same time #healthycookingwin. 

#5 Mix & Match Plant and Animal Protein 

Add some food variety to your meals by mixing and matching plant and animal protein because who says you can’t have both in one meal?

Here are some yummy ways to pack in both:

  • Make a homemade meat sauce with both lentils and ground beef. 
  • Add black beans to turkey tacos. 
  • Add hemp, flax, or chia seeds to a smoothie with one cup of full-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt. 
  • Add beans to your morning omelet. 

#6 Try New Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds make a great addition to a healthy diet, and if you don’t normally enjoy them, you can add some major food variety here. 

They are great sources of plant-based protein and healthy fats. Plus, walnuts, hemp, flax, and chia seeds also pack in some omega-3 fatty acids. 

Try adding some food variety to your dishes by adding a sprinkle of nuts and seeds to some of these meal ideas:

  • Sesame or pumpkin seeds sprinkled over salad.
  • Chopped walnuts or pecans over oatmeal. 
  • Make pesto using pine nuts. 
  • Make homemade trail mix using your favorite mix of nuts and seed and some shredded unsweetened coconut and raw cacao nibs. 

#7 Use Dairy-Free Alternatives to Your Advantage 

If you’ve been trying to cut back on the amount of dairy in your diet, we’re about to share some hacks that will make this much easier. 

Turns out, dairy-free swaps are actually pretty darn tasty. Plus, many of them are nutritionally-packed, giving us another reason to add some food variety to our diet with these healthy swaps. 

Here are some of our fav dairy-free ways to mix things up a bit: 

  • Full-fat unsweetened coconut milk vs. coffee creamer. 
  • Nutritional yeast vs. parmesan cheese. 
  • Cashew milk vs. cow’s milk.
  • Banana nice cream vs. dairy-based ice cream. 
  • Kite Hill’s almond-based cream cheese vs. regular cream cheese. 

#8 Make The Most of Farmers Market Season 

Now that warmer weather is here, it’s officially farmers market season (yay!)  If you have a local farmers market near you, take advantage of the in-season fruits and veggies and the lower prices that often come with shopping local. 

You’ll be supporting local farms, and you may be inspired to add some food variety to your diet when you see just how delicious local produce is.

#9 Switch Up The Standard Lunch Sandwich 

If you find yourself resorting to the same old lunch sandwich each day, try adding in some food variety by mixing up your sandwich bread a bit. 

Here are some creative ways to get fancy with your lunchtime sandwich:

  • Use lettuce leaves to make a lower-carb wrap. 
  • Try gluten-free pita wraps. 
  • Make a healthy flatbread with gluten-free flatbread, sliced turkey breast, hummus, and sliced avocado. 

#10 Challenge Yourself to Try One New Healthy Food Per Week

Up for a challenge? We got you. Try enjoying one new (healthy) food per week. You can try mixing a new veggie into your dinner recipe, or blending a fruit you may have never tried before into a smoothie. 

Or, it can be as simple as trying a new seasoning to marinate your chicken with. Just get out there and be brave! Trying new healthy things is a surefire way to add some food variety to your diet. 

Keep Your Healthy Diet Exciting

Eating the same old thing every single day can get boring and can make us crave variety. So, let’s go about food variety the healthy way by adding all sorts of nutritional goodness to our diet — it will make healthy eating exciting and totally delicious!