Tips for finding healthy snacks for college students
Let’s be honest: Snacks for college students generally consist of salty potato chips, sugary drinks and energy drinks, and lots of delicious calorie filled candy bars. Although these easy snacks can be tasty, they are not the best option for our bodies and minds. With lots of studying and learning to do during our college years, we must fuel our body and mind with the best possible nutritious foods. With a college budget and few healthy affordable places on campus, finding healthy snacks can be difficult. The tips below will help you find the best snacks for college students: affordable, quick, nutritious and healthy right on campus!
If you know that you’re going to be studying all day, pack some snacks to munch on. One nutritious snack is mixed nuts. A 1/4 cup of mixed nuts offers you protein, energy, and many vitamins and minerals. You can find these at your local campus convenience stores, including Mad Anthony’s in the Student Center or Barnes and Noble near State Hall. There are also a couple of options for fruits or smoothies around campus. Fruits and some smoothies (you have to be careful you are picking healthy smoothies!) offer healthy vitamins and nutritious benefits that will help boost energy and metabolism. All of these snacks are generally under 5$.
If you’re going home for the weekend, ask your parents to buy healthy snacks in bulk. Yogurt, fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, and hummus and pita chips are all good alternatives for healthy snacking. You can also pick these up yourself at Whole Foods or University Foods.
If you’re at the library, Delilah’s Café is in the Undergraduate Library (UGL). They have healthy snacks like salads, pastas, and teas that you can enjoy on a study break. These are all under 5$ usually. You won’t have to leave the library and can go to the first floor of the UGL to enjoy some healthy, affordable, and nutritious student snacks.
If you’re prepared before the cravings strike, it is less likely you’ll turn to the vending machine for a last resort snack.
Think before you Eat
Think about what you will eat before you eat it. For breakfast, think about what you can eat the night before. That way in the morning you won’t be rushed and grabbing quick, unhealthy foods. Keep some oatmeal in your dorm or apartment room. All you need is a bowl or a mug, a microwave and some hot water. This is a quick and easy breakfast that you can prepare as you are getting ready. Remember not to grab the instant oatmeal, as they are often high in sugar and low in fiber. Regular oatmeal is a tasty, delicious and nutrious snack or meal!
After lunch and dinner in the cafeteria, when the meal is over, try to grab some fruits or vegetables to store in your backpack. These are included in your meal plan and you won’t have to pay extra for these healthy snacks. Mediterranean restaurants around the campus offer snack sizes of hummus and pita bread. This is generally under 5$ and is a healthy and filling snack. Mediterranean restaurants like La Pita and Byblos Café are right on campus across the street from Old Main and State Hall.
Vending machines are one of the biggest culprits for unhealthy snacking. If you must satisfy your late night craving or do not want to walk far to get food, the vending machine can be useful. If the vending machine is your last resort, try to opt for pretzels or Chex-mix.
Choose water over pop as well. Water will always be a healthy alternative to pop and has no added calories or sugar. If water is too bland, try no-calorie flavored water instead. The number one thing we recommend you avoid is sugary drinks.
These healthy snacks are a little better for you than chips, candy or pop. They are not filled with as much oil or sugar as the other snacks are. But remember, this is a last resort! You are going to be ready and prepared with your pre-made snacks so those late night cravings and battles with the vending machine won’t ruin your healthy snacking goals.
It’s easier than it looks…
Healthy snacking doesn’t have to be stressful. There are many healthy snacks for students right here on campus to keep you on track! Remember to be prepared, think before you eat, and avoid temptation with the vending machines. If you need extra help, there are resources available to you at the Campus Health Center. A Registered Dietician is available to help you understand how to snack well and achieve your health goals! And, this is a serviced offered to Wayne State students free of charge. (link to services page).