Those of us went to college or have a student in college will know that the freshman 20 (referring to the number of pounds gain in college year one) is a very possible event. The first year of college and 4 college years in general are a confusing time for students as parents aren’t there to keep dorm room stocked with food, cook, shop, or advise on healthy choices. What or where is a college student to eat? Noodles, pizza, takeout or the Café? Students can save time, money, and stay healthy by getting a little guidance and doing some pre-planning. Pass these tips on to the college student in your life.
Fruit make a handy healthy snack: bananas, apples, oranges (perfect to keep in your backpack), dried fruit: (no added sugars) apricots, apples, raisins, dates, strawberries, cranberries, applesauce (low sugar/no sugar added),100% fruit leather (for those sweet cravings)
Vegetables are low calorie and filling: baby carrots, celery, bag of mixed salad greens, cherry tomatoes, kale chips
Calcium rich foods can help balance appetite and weight: non-fat or low-fat yogurt, cheese sticks, organic soy milk, almond milk, cottage cheese
Whole Grains instead of processed grains: brown rice, whole-grain pasta, whole-grain crackers such as Triscuits
Protein on the go will provide brain food and combat hungries: A handful of almonds, walnuts, raw peanuts, sunflower seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, pecans, unsalted peanuts, pistachios (low sodium/unsalted), or almond butter and peanut butter (low sodium/unsalted), hummus at snack time will go a long way
On most days choose meals that include grilled or baked meats, salads or broth based soups, veggies, whole-grains and fruit.
Having some satisfying options will make you reconsider going to the vending machine and reaching for high sugar foods when hunger and stress are sure to come during late night study sessions. Being physically active and trying to get adequate rest is also part of maintaining a healthy body during these challenging college years. See our blog on late night snacking for more tips.