Healthy and delicious choices for college dorm snacks

Although most dorm residents have a meal plan on campus, a wise student always stockpiles snacks for his or her room. The ideal snacks are healthy and inexpensive. After all, the wise student knows that it is important to stick to a budget. Here are a few healthy and delicious suggestions for ideal dorm snacks:

Granola bars: These provide quick, healthy, on the go energy. These are a convenient breakfast to eat on the run to that early morning class. They also made good snacks for bus rides, as they made minimal mess. Two  nutritious and tasty bar brands are Nature Valley and Quaker.

Fruit: Banana, orange, or apple. Oranges and apples keep well in your room, but eat the banana within a few days.

Cereal squares: Buy Rice Krispie squares, or make them yourself with little more than cereal, marshmallows, and butter and save money, Substitute a similar cereal of a generic variety to save even more. Chocolate chips or raisins can be added in. These may be slightly less nutritious than granola bars and slightly stickier, too. They beat chocolate or candy on both counts, though.

Juice boxes or cans: A  juice box or can is a tasty and portable way to wash down that on the go snack. For maximum vitamins, choose 100 percent fruit or veggie juice, not juice drinks.

Bottled water: Stay hydrated before, during and after class. You will also need this before, during and after physical activity. I’m sure you’re thinking of the campus gym or sport. Screaming for your favorite stars, enduring a heat wave, or getting excited during frosh week all require hydration.

Planning to drink this weekend? Having some water to drink between alcoholic beverages will help you keep from getting too intoxicated. It’s also a good cure for a hang over. And yes, you will get that flu going around your dorm. Drinking lots of water will help you get over it faster. Which leads us to another important dorm beverage…

Ginger ale: This is a great comfort beverage to keep for when you’re sick. If you’re feeling queasy, it just may help keep that greasy cafeteria pizza in your stomach instead of all over your dorm floor.  You and your new buddies will appreciate this! Trust me.You may want to let the bubbles go flat first, however.

A word of caution; don’t drop the ginger ale before opening it. Why? The result is a large champagne-like explosion of bubbly all over the floor. If you’re sick and dizzy already and don’t have any ginger ale, try to get someone else to buy and/or carry it for you. Choose someone with a good sense of balance and without a sick flair for the dramatic, and make sure you’re nice to them!

Coffee or tea: Many students really need this to stay sane, especially during exam time, If this is you, drink up and save a life – or your grades. Everyone will thank you, especially yourself. If allowed, keep a coffee maker or tea pot in your room. Otherwise, make it in your dorm kitchen.

Soda crackers: Another thing good for when you’re sick, but handy any time, Not the healthiest choice for all the time, but good in a pinch. Rely on these for quick, cheap energy while studying for exams or writing late papers at 3 in the morning. Spread with your favorite topping: peanut butter, jam, cheese, salsa, left over beans or dip and wash down with your favorite non alcoholic beverage.

Rice cakes: While not very filling, rice cakes are reasonably tasty with a few condiments. They are a great option for those who don’t like, or can’t eat, bread and wheat. They come plain or in a variety of flavors like cinnamon, garlic, and others. Top them with cracker toppings like peanut butter, cheese, or jam. 

Tostitos: Tostitos are a healthy alternative to potato chips. Many people crave the multi-grain variety which is made from whole grains. Microwave them with a little shredded cheese and salsa for 45 seconds for a great dorm snack.

Pizza: Pizza can be a healthy snack, if you order lots of veggies like mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes. If you have access to the dorm stove, buy a plain pizza and dress it up. Avoid pepperoni and bacon for a lower fat option.

Being a  dorm student shouldn’t mean having to starve or become obese! Healthy snacks can and should be part of your student survival kit. With a little thought, you can balance both your budget and your diet while on campus.