College students are constantly on the go; whether they are going to classes, social events, club meetings, or heading to the library to complete assignments. This often means that snacks have to be quick and easy so they can be fueled throughout the day. Check out our healthiest snacks for college students on the go, and avoid gaining the terrible “freshman fifteen.”
Related: 11 Life Tips for College Students
Why is it Difficult to Eat Healthy as a College Student
Paying for college isn’t cheap, and many times other parts of our lives suffer because we just don’t have enough money. This often leads to buying cheaper snacks and food to fill up your refrigerator and food cart, and most of these foods are not very healthy at all.
The other problem is a lot of healthier foods are perishable and need to be refrigerated, and if you don’t have a fridge, these cannot be kept in your room. That’s when all the processed and unhealthy foods come into the room, and now you’re snacking poorly.
Tips for Eating Healthy
How often do you actually read the portion size on a bag and follow it? Most people just grab a bag and eat what they want, which is often way more than suggested. The best thing to do when trying to snack healthy is to follow the portion sizes and make sure you’re not eating too much.
Plan Out Snack Times
This may seem a little childish, but in practice it will help a ton. By planning out certain times you know you get hungry or need a snack, you can keep the snacking only to those times and limit the intake of other snacks. Or, lay out a couple of snacks for the day and plan to eat only those.
Healthiest Snacks for College Students
20. Dried Fruit
Found in most any grocery store, especially ones like Walmart and Aldi’s, dried fruit is a perfect snack that won’t go bad in your backpack. Always make sure they contain no added sugars, as this often defeats the purpose of buying dried fruit.
A perfect grab-and-go fruit, apples are in any produce section in a variety of species. If you’re fond of softer apples, try the Macintosh. But if you like the crisp snap of biting into an apple, try the Pink Lady.
This fruit may be better eaten in the dorm room, as it will get quite bruised in a jostled backpack. Full of potassium, this fruit keeps you feeling full for a long time and may be a great breakfast option if you are running late to that first class.
You can choose either the larger navel oranges or clementines for this citrus snack. Each of them is full of vitamins, and the fresh flavor of an orange is sure to give you that essential boost before settling down to finish some homework.
Full of antioxidants, blueberries are easy pop-em’s that you can keep in a container in your backpack or grab from the fridge in your dorm. You can eat these as is, or throw the in the freezer for a fun snack that’ll cool you down in the hotter months of the year.
Carrot sticks, baby carrots, or just a 5-pound bag from Walmart will work for this snack. Carrots usually last a long time, especially if they are not processed at all. These are a great snack for your backpack, as the jostling will not completely smush them.
14. Beet Chips
Though not everyone enjoys the taste of beets, they are a great snack choice to replace the similar crunch of potato chips. The vitamins and minerals contained in beets are great for heart health and will help lower blood pressure, perfect for the stressed student.
13. Roasted Seaweed
Another healthy option to replace potato chips is roasted seaweed. This may not be for everyone, but for those who do enjoy trying new things, this snack is rich in iodine, omega 3s, B vitamins and other beneficial supplements for your body.
12. Green Veggies
Though this category contains a lot of different types of vegetables, each one of them is healthy for various reasons. The best green vegetables that you should incorporate into your snack diet are kale, spinach, broccoli, and green beans.
Oatmeal is the best snack for those who enjoy getting a solid breakfast every day. As long as you have instant oatmeal and a way to get hot water, you can have oatmeal in your dorm all the time. This snack is especially great because it can last a long time in storage, and can have various toppings.
10. Whole Wheat Crackers
Not all crackers are healthy. Many of them contain lots of sugars, and some even contain high fructose corn syrup. The best option when looking for crackers is to buy whole wheat, or ones that contain low amounts of sugar. Multigrain can also be a safe option.
9. Light Popcorn
Light popcorn can either be bought already popped or still needing a microwave. Some trusty brands to buy from include SkinnyPop and LesserEvil, but really all you need to make sure is that there isn’t any extra butter or salt on the popcorn when you buy it.
This snack is great because anything can be in it – you choose what kind of granola you want. You can either make the granola or buy it from the store, but it can be eaten by itself or on other foods like yogurt.
Cheese sticks are a great way to have a quick snack before leaving the room. Full of calcium and vitamins, these can give you an extra boost of energy for the rest of the day. You can also look for low sodium or low fat options if you want to be really healthy.
Though yogurt is full of probiotics that can help your stomach, a lot of yogurt brands are packed full of sugar. They may taste good, but they are not healthy for you and can make you drowsy due to the sugar. The best type of yogurt to buy would be either low-sugar or greek yogurt.
5. Hard-boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats which will help keep you energized on those long class days. If you don’t have a kitchen in your room, go to the communal kitchen and make a dozen to last you the whole week. You can even add a little vinegar to the boiling water to make the shells easier to peel.
4. Trail Mix
Trail mix, similar to granola, is totally customizable to what you like to eat. There are of course mixes you can buy in pretty much any store, but you can also make your own. The main ingredients tend to be almonds, cashews, raisins, peanuts, and some sort of sweet like M&Ms.
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3. Ginger Chews
Ginger chews are not for everyone, but for those who enjoy snacking on sweets, this is a healthy alternative. With each chew only being 15 calories, you can have 2-4 in a day and not impact your daily calorie intake too much. They also help with nausea, joint pain, and fighting germs.
2. Fruit/Nut Bars
There are a ton of different options when it comes to fruit and nut bars. But you have to be aware of what each brand contains, as some of them are still loaded with sugars and carbs that will only make your body feel sluggish. Some good brands to check out are Clif Bars, Kind Bars, or RX Bars.
1. Dark Chocolate
Out of the three main chocolates – milk, dark, and white – dark chocolate is the healthiest with the least amount of added sugar. It can also protect against heart disease, though many college students shouldn’t have to worry about that yet. Some good brands to check out are Lindt, Taza, or Lily’s.
College can be stressful sometimes, but you shouldn’t have to stress about what to fuel your body with. Take this list with you when you go to the grocery store and stock your room full of the healthiest snacks for college students.