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How to Eat a Bland Diet Without Getting Bored

If you have frequent heartburn (you experience it more than two days per week), you’ve probably talked with your doctor about ways to treat it. Your doctor may have recommended switching to a bland diet to avoid any heartburn-triggering foods.1 By removing certain foods from your diet, you might find that your symptoms don’t occur as frequently—or even go away completely.

But is there anything more snooze-inducing than the idea of following a bland diet? It brings to mind plain oatmeal and boiled chicken breasts—zzzzzz. However, a bland diet doesn’t necessarily have to be flavorless.

Here are some ways to follow your doctor’s orders while still looking forward to mealtime. And remember: Not everyone has the same heartburn triggers, so it may take a while for you to figure out exactly which foods are making your symptoms worse.

What Is a Bland Diet?

A bland diet consists of foods that are soft, low in fiber and not spicy.1 Your health care provider may put you on a bland diet to address symptoms of heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems.1 Although it doesn’t sound too appealing, a bland diet can create less stress on the gastrointestinal tract to help it heal more efficiently.2 After some time on the diet, you can reintroduce other foods once your health care provider gives you the OK, but it’s still important to eat healthily.

How to Eat a Bland Diet Without Getting Bored Beyond Belief

Roast Your Veggies

As part of the diet, you’ll want to avoid raw vegetables and vegetables that could give you gas, like broccoli and cabbage.1 Instead, load up a baking sheet with mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and any other favorite veggies, and add a dash of olive oil. Pop the sheet in a hot oven and roast the veggies until they’re brown; roasting will give you more flavor than simply steaming them.

Add an egg to everything

Add an Egg to Everything

Eggs can make a difference in many dishes, and they’re great for bland diets!1 Eggs aren’t just for breakfast (though they are delicious scrambled, fried, over-easy, poached…the list goes on). They can bring filling protein to any meal. Nestle cooked eggs on top of polenta, a potato and kale hash, or avocado toast. You can even put them on top of soup!

Rice pudding

Start Your Day the Cozy Way

Hot cereals such as cream of wheat are perfect for a bland diet, but they can be oh-so-plain. That’s where toppings come to the rescue. Skip the nuts, dried fruit, and berries, and instead spoon on a dollop of creamy peanut butter and some banana slices.1 If you’re looking to add a hint of sweetness to your breakfast, you can also try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon.3

Get Creative with Tofu

Tofu has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years and has become a staple in vegetarian diets. It’s also on the list of foods you can eat on a bland diet!1 Try scrambling tofu with vegetables for a protein-packed breakfast or cut it into cubes to toss into a stir fry. You can also blend silken tofu with non-acidic fruit juices or peanut butter to make a delicious smoothie!

Have a Nice Cup of Soup

Who doesn’t love a nice, warm bowl of soup? There are several delicious soups and broths that are good for the soul (and for your bland diet).1 You can never go wrong with a classic chicken noodle for lunch. For a heartier choice, creamy potato soup made with Greek yogurt can really change the game! 

Grilled shrimps

Fire Up the Grill

Plain boiled chicken? No, thank you. Use the grill or a grill pan instead to get some extra flavor going. Choose cuts of poultry that don’t have a lot of fat, like skinless chicken breasts, and lean seafood like shrimp and white fish.1 Instead of spices, use some simple flavorings like fresh herbs to bring more flavor to the meal. Some seasonings you can use in a bland diet include sage, thyme, paprika and allspice.3


Don’t Forget Dessert!

While high-fat dairy is out (sorry, no ice cream!), low-fat or fat-free pudding and custard are in. You can try combining different bland diet foods to make something sweet like a dairy-free banana rice pudding. Popsicles, gelatin desserts and vanilla wafers can also make for a tasty snack after meals.1

If a bland diet isn’t a permanent addition to your everyday life, you can still make healthy and delicious meals that are good for heartburn. Try these 14 protein-packed meals for heartburn to enjoy tasty foods without running the risk of heartburn symptoms.

Source Citations:

1. Bland diet. MedlinePlus. Accessed 6/2/2023.

2. Bland Diet. National Library of Medicine. Accessed 6/2/2023.

3. Bland Diet. Fairview Health Services. Accessed 6/2/2023.