Let’s face it, the college environment is not designed for students to live a healthy life. Not only are most college students confined to a dorm room or on-campus apartment without access to a proper kitchen, but they are also strapped for cash.
Luckily, eating healthy as a college student can be convenient AND affordable. All you need to do is set yourself up for success by keeping healthy, non-perishable items on deck. This way your grab-and-go options are healthy and cheap.
Below are some options that you can buy in bulk at the beginning of the semester and keep around for the entire semester to ensure you’re successful.
Oatmeal packs are easy to store and even easier to make. You can buy a ton of them and leave them in your dorm room or apartment for when you have to rush out the door. Just be sure not to choose the ones that are loaded with added sugars.
Don’t have easy-access to a grocery store? Take a piece of fruit with you on your way out of the dining hall and store it in your room for later. Even if the fruit isn’t ripe, still take it and allow it to ripen in your room.
Shelf stable milk or plant-based milk
Milk and soy milk are great sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. Because they are shelf-stable, you can store them in the cabinet or under your bed and pop them in the refrigerator once opened.
Nut (or seed) butter
Nut/seed butters are extremely nutrient dense. Keeping your favorite nut/seed butter on hand is a great way to get in healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Not only could you keep jars in your kitchen or dorm room, but you can get to-go packets that are proportioned at 1-2 tablespoons for snacking.
Nuts and seeds
Keep a bag of chia seeds, flax seeds and/or hemp seeds on hand. They can be sprinkled on nearly everything: salads, oatmeal, toast, cereal, etc. Walnuts are a great way to get in omega 3 fatty acids, chia seeds contain some calcium and fiber, flax seeds have some magnesium and fiber, and hemp seeds are loaded with iron.
DIY Trail Mix
Trail mix is the perfect snack to take to class! If you add the right ingredients, you can get in the perfect mixture of healthy fats, protein, complex carbs, vitamins, and minerals. At the beginning of each week, mix together your favorite nuts, seeds, dried-fruit and whole-grain cereal. Portion them out into 7 baggies (one for each day of the week) to ensure that you always have a healthy grab-and-go snack.
Online shopping (i.e. Amazon, Thrive Market, etc.) is a great option to restock on some of your favorite shelf-stable ingredients in the middle of the semester if you don’t have access to a food store.
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