We all know eating healthy is hard in college. We’ve established this. In fact, we don’t even need to establish it: we’ve all experienced it. You’re running low on cash or flex bucks, so you get the cheapest, most unhealthy thing you can find. Or you’re running late to class, skip a meal, and start cravings those donut holes from the POD.
We’ve all been there. (They are really good donut holes.)
Friends: hey let’s go out tonight
My bank account: pic.twitter.com/bwJo5Q0Tdm
— College Student (@ColIegeStudent) April 14, 2018
But guess what? There actually is such a thing as cheap, healthy, and fast food. And you can make it right in your apartment or dorm! With options that cover parties, late-night studying, mid-day snacking, or early morning breakfast, we’ve got scrumptious ideas for you to enjoy, even if you don’t like cooking.
All students know the feeling of random chip cravings. And with how often those hit, it can be very easy to rack up the carbohydrates. Thankfully, there is a way to make your late-night snacking healthy: just add in some guacamole! While guacamole is often reserved for parties and special occasions, it really is an amazing item to have on your everyday menu. Since avocados are considered one of the healthiest foods you can eat, it serves as the perfect pairing to your snacking habits. Spoon University has an amazing recipe that creates three servings of guacamole right in your dorm room, and it only takes five ingredients! Go check it out, and never feel guilty about your chip cravings again!
A classic breakfast food, oatmeal has always served as that aesthetically perfect meal we all strive for. But eating any breakfast, much less such a glamorous one, is difficult for students to manage. So what do we turn to in times of food trouble?
That’s right, mason jars.
More than just the Pinterest go-to for crafting, mason jars also work to make your breakfast portable and delicious. And when you mix this nifty item with your favorite oatmeal combination, you get the perfect carry-on meal for your early morning classes. Check out Veganosity for mason jar oatmeal recipes like blueberry vanilla, chocolate banana, and strawberries and cream!
As possibly one of the most exciting items on the list, you are probably suddenly hungry just by reading that title. And no, it is not too good to be true; you really can make mac and cheese in a mug. It takes minutes and requires only four ingredients, a mug and a microwave. And since pasta is an energy-rich food, this recipe is completely healthier than that fluorescent orange instant stuff. Gone are the days of the vaguely cardboard-tasting macaroni; all hail the macaroni mug!
Salads are a classic health food and are honestly one of the most versatile foods out there. You want bacon in it? Sure! Fruit? Of course! Relentless amounts of spinach? Why not! You can even order them as a side at almost any restaurant, making them just as accessible as they are easily accesorized. Salads are the gods of health foods, and even in small portions can really turn your day around with longer-lasting energy, a better immune system and feeling fuller longer.
But it does get challenging sometimes trying to pack salad for your day. Keeping your greens fresh and non-wilting, while also packaging the dressing, gets cumbersome and difficult. So guess who’s here to the rescue? You guessed it: mason jars again! Say hello to Mason Jar Salads, an easily contained salad filled with veggies, protein, fiber and antioxidants that will help you power through your classes. The best part, though, is that the mason jar allows you to layer your ingredients, meaning your dressing stays separate and your veggies stay crisp. Check out Holley Grainger’s blog for her salad ideas, and use it to make some of your own!
After working through all of those healthy greens, you deserve some sweets. And there is truly no better recipe for easy, healthy sweets than sugared pecans. Even those who are not big fans of pecans will be a believer with this recipe. You may doubt that this is in any way healthy, but it’s true: pecans are extremely high in multiple vitamins, including vitamin A, B, E, magnesium and zinc. And eating just one ounce of pecans provides up to 10 percent of the daily recommended serving of fiber! (Plus, with this recipe, you’ll definitely be eating more than an ounce of pecans.) Add all of these benefits to the fact that this recipe is doused in sugar and cinnamon, and there’s really no downside. This snack is filling, addictive, portable and, most importantly, healthy.
Eating healthy during college can be difficult, but with these tips and tricks you’ll be more prepared to face the day armed with vitamins, energy and a general sense of being a responsible adult. Make sure to check out Spoon University, a student community focused on easy foods for college life, and this Buzzfeed article on healthy food tips during the semester. With the right food, you can make sure you’re ready to face any situation the semester will throw at you. Good luck, and happy eating!
Author Angele Latham is a senior at MTSU, majoring in visual communication in the School of Journalism with minors in criminal justice administration and global studies. The views and opinions expressed above are her own and don’t necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of Middle Tennessee State University.