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 or minds. With all the studying and learning to do during our college years, we must fuel our bodies and minds with the most nutritious foods possible. 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, healthy, and right on campus!
If you know that you’re going to be studying all day, pack some snacks to munch on. One nutritious snack to consider are mixed nuts. A quarter cup of mixed nuts offers you protein, energy, and many vitamins and minerals. You can find mixed nuts at your local campus convenience store, including Mad Anthony’s in the Student Center, or Barnes and Noble near State Hall. There are also a couple of options for finding fresh fruit or smoothies around campus. Fruits and some smoothies (though you have to be careful to pick healthy smoothies!) offer healthy vitamins and nutritious benefits that will help boost both your energy and your metabolism. 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 Undergraduate Library (UGL), check out Delilah’s Café on the first floor. It has healthy snacks like salads, pastas, and teas that you can enjoy on a study break. These are all usually under $5. You don’t even have to leave the library to enjoy healthy, affordable, and nutritious student snacks!
If you’re prepared before the cravings strike, it is less likely that 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 example, think about what you can eat for breakfast the night before. That way, in the morning, you won’t be rushed and tempted to grab 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 buy instant oatmeal as it is often high in sugar and low in fiber. Regular oatmeal is a tasty, delicious, and nutritious snack or meal!
After lunch and dinner in the cafeteria, try to grab some fruits or vegetables to store in your backpack. They are included in your meal plan, and you won’t have to pay extra for these healthy snacks. The Mediterranean restaurants around the campus also offer snack sizes of hummus and pita bread. These are generally under $5 and are 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 of unhealthy snacking. If you must satisfy your late night craving, or you don’t want to walk too far to get food, the vending machine can be useful. If the vending machine is your only option, try to opt for pretzels or Chex Mix.
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.
Be sure to choose water over pop as well. Water will always be a healthy alternative to pop, and it has no added calories or sugar. If water is too bland, try no-calorie flavored water instead. Sugary drinks are the number one thing we recommend you avoid.
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 at vending machines. If you need extra help, there are a number of services available to you at the Campus Health Center.