It's easy to live on junk food once you leave home to study, but there are still ways to eat well at college. Good nutrition is important for a student, but eating well tends to be abandoned as you grab pizza and burgers on the run. With a little planning and knowledge of nutrition, you can ensure that you have a healthy diet, even if you have a busy study schedule. Here are some of the ways to eat well at college …
1. Choose Healthy Options
One of the ways to eat well at college is to choose healthy options when you eat in the college canteen. Look for dishes like soup, salad, grilled meat or fish, and vegetarian options, which are usually healthier. If you have a meal plan and there aren't enough healthy options, request that they be added to the menu.
2. Learn Simple Cooking
You should have already learned some basic cooking skills, but if you're still clueless in the kitchen then it's high time to change that. Master some simple dishes, so that you have a basic repertoire of meals that you can make. This will allow you to avoid eating junk food and unhealthy canteen meals.
3. Smart Shopping
If you have unhealthy food in the house, you're going to eat it. Shop sensibly and avoid buying unhealthy food. Stock up on fruit, whole foods and basic ingredients so that you can cook yourself healthy and economical meals. Look for ingredients like lentils and beans, and big bags of rice (you can always split them with a roommate).
4. Sensible Snacks
Studying can be a hungry business! Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar, have some healthier snacks on hand. Dried or fresh fruit and nuts are ideal; pop some nuts in a bag so that you can snack on them when you're away from home.
5. Junk Food Alternatives
Burgers and pizzas may be the student staple, but they're not a healthy meal. Save them for the occasional treat and make yourself a healthier meal. It doesn't have to take long to cook a nutritious meal; stir fries are simple and quick. You can also make extra portions of meals that can be frozen, for a quick meal when you're short of time or too tired to cook.
6. Regular Meals
When you're busy with your studies and the college social life, you can forget to eat properly. It's important to have regular meals, so don't be tempted to miss lunch. If you eat healthy food, you're not going to succumb to the dreaded 'freshman fifteen,' unlike if you skip meals (and then eat a chocolate bar) or grab burgers.
7. Pack Lunch
If you don't have a meal plan, do you spend quite a lot getting lunch on campus every day with your friends? Try to get organised and pack a sandwich instead; suggest that everyone does the same if you don't want to feel left out. They may also appreciate the chance to save a few $$!
When you're having a great time at college and busy with your studies, healthy eating may not be much of a priority. But following a good diet will help both brain and body, so try to eat well most of the time (the occasional slip won't hurt). What are you hoping to study at college?