As your college student prepares to head to campus, it’s important to give them a few tips for how to eat healthy! If they are trying to avoid the “freshman 15” or simply want to eat a healthier diet, your very strict budget might make this a little more complicated. But even without a big kitchen to use and money to buy whatever ingredients you want, you can still eat better and stay within your budget.
Here are some tips for eating healthier as a college student, whether you live in a dorm or an apartment with friends.
Get Compact Appliances to Help You Cook
To start with, you need appliances that will help you cook your meals, whether you are in a dorm or apartment. Think about simple appliances that cook many different types of meals, and won’t take up a lot of space.
For example, a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot is a great investment. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and will help you cook a lot of different foods in very little time. Some others include a blender, mini-fridge or toaster oven.
Choose Healthy Food with a Long Shelf Life
Since you probably don’t have a full-size refrigerator if you are in a college student living in a dorm, a lot of your food will need to stay fresh on the counter or shelves. This is when foods with a long shelf life come in, like crackers, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and granola bars. Think about foods that you can keep in your dorm room or apartment and grab on the way to class as a snack. It keeps you from going to the dining hall and ordering overly-priced food there.
Start Your Day With a Healthy Breakfast
Always start your busy school days with a healthy breakfast, preferably one you prepared yourself in your apartment or dorm room. If you can do this before you head to your first class, you will be much less likely to snack throughout the day until your next regular meal.
Split Meals with Friends
When you eat out with friends as a college student, it can help both your budget and your waistline if you choose to split meals with friends. Ask a friend if they want to split a meal with you, and you share the cost 50/50. This is a great option if you would normally have leftovers, but have nowhere to store them.
Split Your Takeout Meals
Another option for takeout meals is to split it in half, and save the other half for the next day. If you have a mini-fridge in your dorm room or a regular fridge in an apartment, you can get meals that tend to have more than one serving, like a bowl from Chipotle, and save half for tomorrow’s lunch.