Whether it is grabbing a bite between classes or the midnight cravings during an all night cram session, chances are a snack attack is sure to hit any and every college student at one point or another. Anyone who has walked the halls and endured the arduous class schedule knows that when it comes to nutrition, ramen and Red Bull’s hardly suffice; yet their easy accessibility lends to the lie that they are our best friends.
It is necessary to embrace a paradigm shift that embraces ease and nutrition as opposed to availability and time constraints. Whether you are equipped with a kitchen or you are stuck borrowing a friends microwave or hot plate, the following essentials can be stored in any and every dorm room.
Before getting to the meat and potatoes so to speak, one piece of advice. Tupperware is your best friend! It doesn’t matter if you are a mother preparing your student for school or a co-ed getting ready to rock, these little pieces of reusable and sealable space saving units will keep your happy piece of campus from unnecessary mess and insect invasion. Having an assortment of sizes is a great first step. Make sure you also get a larger tub to store it all in. You can never be too cautious when it comes to avoiding ants and other unwelcome grubbers, roommates included. The layers tend to dissuade the forgers at large. Remember, don’t lose the lids.
When stocking your Glad-Ware (or whatever brand you prefer), try to assimilate the three following concepts: Ease, Health, and Satisfaction. Expecting any college student to spend more than about five minutes on a snack, or even a meal really, is a bit far fetched, especially during mid-terms or finals. Having an assortment of nuts on hand will serve as a great grab and go, packed full of energy and endurance. Assorted dried fruits are also wonderful snacks, and they do wonders for curbing a sweet tooth. With these two healthy snack ingredients, you can even mix and match and create your own brand of trail mix, without the dried apricots that we all pick out anyway. And we won’t tell if you throw in a couple M&M’s.
Fresh fruit like apples and bananas are great, as they do not require a fridge to keep fresh. Just remember that while buying fresh fruit is smart, healthy, good tasting, and fairly inexpensive, you are only shopping for one. Don’t go crazy and buy a whole bunch of bananas. Spoiling fruit can affect more than just the odor of your apartment.
Power bars are great for a quick fix and can be carried anywhere. There are many healthy options that taste great and provide needed vitamins that your greasy hamburger and pizza won’t. Kashi and Odawalla bars are fairly reasonable in pricing and are loaded with healthy extras, and they still taste great. You can find both at just about any grocery store.
As for beverages, a water filter can be synonymous with life saver. By making the investment and purchasing a pitcher equipped with a water filter (Brita Pitchers), you will have access to unlimited water that tastes great, keeps you hydrated, energized, and green. Couple this with a reusable water bottle and you are ready to rock.
For a final recommendation on snack sustenance, have a guilty pleasure on hand. Having a fun food to share with friends or munch on your own is fine, especially when you are eating balanced overall. Redvines were my personal contraband during school. They store easy, taste great, and spread around well. Not to mention they are good for multitasking, like while writing a paper in the wee hours of the morning.
Having a healthy arsenal when it comes to grub will keep students tip top, feeling strong and ready rather than cloudy and bogged by sugar crashes and coming down off energy drinks. You don’t have to toss your ramen and swear off Red Bull, but mix it up and make mom proud. You’ll be glad you did.