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Snacking in college – it’s a given. As a college student, there’s just SO much going on.
Between classes, homework, clubs, part-time jobs and a social life; there’s a lot of energy expelling activity that requires fueling your body. And often!
Due to all that activity, it can also be difficult to squeeze in meal times. Eating regularly takes a back seat when there are impending deadlines.
That why it’s a good idea to keep a small “pantry” of snacks in your dorm room.
The infamous freshman fifteen is all too real, though.
Taking things a step further and keeping healthy snacks stocked and at the ready is in your best interest. Because when hunger strikes…
…convenience plays a BIG factor in what you decide to eat.
Let’s face it, we all give in to our lazy side from time to time. ESPECIALLY when you factor in the stress, the lack of time and the exhaustion that are commonly part of the college lifestyle.
I know I’ve been guilty of eating less than wholesome foods just because they were available and easy to make.
With that in mind, here are some healthy snacks that ideas can be kept in a dorm room:
*Note: If you don’t have a mini-fridge, skip to the non-refrigerated snacks here!
Refrigerated Healthy Dorm Snacks
– a great college dorm snack for dipping crackers, tortilla chips, carrots or other veggies. I like to choose local brands when I’m shopping because I feel like I can trust the source of the ingredients and care put into making the product more than big box brands.
One of my regions brands is Lily’s hummus – it’s super yummy. Plus not only is it cheaper than the others, but there’s also MORE hummus per container! Be on the lookout for values like that in your area to stretch your budget.
– for those of you who have a microwave or hot plate in your room, scrambled eggs can be a quick & easy source of protein.
Hard-boiled eggs are another option, grocery stores carry them if you don’t have anywhere you can boil water.
And, to dispel the myth that the cholesterol in eggs is bad for you:
New research has shown that most of the cholesterol in our body is made by our liver – it DOESN’T come from cholesterol we eat.
In fact, eggs are full of lots of great nutrients and vitamins! So eat eggs without fear, just remember that like most foods moderation is key. 🙂
– this dorm friendly snack has protein AND probiotics in it – aka healthy bacteria that helps promote a healthy gut. Double win!
It can be eaten by itself or with mix-ins like fruit. It’s a pretty versatile base and can be made into lots of different dips. Like ranch veggie dip, peanut butter apple dip or even cookie dough dip.
– when cut into slices they make for a crunchy, satisfying food to munch on. It’s hard to overdo it with vegetables, too so you have free reign to eat these whenever.
Dip the bell pepper slices in a little hummus or Greek veggie dip for added tastiness.
– everyone knows leafy greens are good for the body! You just can’t go wrong with nutrient and fiber-rich snacks.
Keep a small bag ready in the fridge for adding to a wrap or for making a salad. If you’re like me, you may even prefer to eat it by itself!
– another dorm snack veggie that goes great with hummus!
– like blueberries, cantaloupe, oranges, etc.
I grouped this under Refrigerated Healthy Dorm Snacks because while it’s not necessary for most types of fruit, refrigeration can help extend the life of produce.
Now, just something to be aware of:
While fruit is often touted as healthy food, it isn’t really all it’s chalked up to be. When it comes to how your body processes food – sugar is sugar.
And whether it comes from natural sources or not, too much sugar can have negative health consequences. Not to say that fruit is completely bad and should be avoided, it does have good nutrients & vitamins in it.
Again – moderation is your friend!
– no grill in your dorm room? No problem!
You can still enjoy a healthy snack of chicken when you opt for the pre-grilled version at the store. Nice to eat plain or dressed up in a spinach wrap.
– another protein option to keep in a mini-fridge.
Goes well chopped over a salad or as a delicious turkey wrap. Here’s a list of the best and worst deli meats, try to avoid unnecessary additives if you can afford it.
– string cheese, sliced cheese, shredded cheese…
These are all food options college students would be wise to keep around. String cheese is easy to take on-the-go, and the other cheese varieties can be combined with other snacks for tasty meals.
– avocado toast anyone? Yummm!
Satisfying and full of good, healthy fats; the best of both worlds. They also compliment other foods well – salads, wraps & more.
While avocados don’t need to be kept cold while ripening, they will get yucky quickly once cut if not stored properly. This little doohickey will help extend the life of them, too.
– almond, cashew, coconut or cow’s milk are a staple food to keep around. It makes microwave mug recipes (and other recipes) possible and its nice to have a different beverage available.
Watch the sugar levels on chocolate milk, though!
The quick list of healthy snacks for college students:
- Greek yogurt
- Peanut butter mixed with Greek yogurt
- Fruit smoothie popsicles
- Salsa & a serving of chips
- Frozen grapes
- Baby carrots
- Cucumber slices
- Baby spinach leaves
- Sliced bell peppers
- Snap peas
- Cheese (string, sliced, cubed, Babybel mini wheels)
- Deli turkey
- Pre-grilled chicken
- Eggs (hard boiled, scrambled)
Non-Refrigerated/Shelf Stable College Snacks
– a gluten-free, lower calorie, yet still yummy dorm snack. My favorite go-to when dipping things in hummus is this brand.
– microwave or bagged it’s perfect for snacking on while studying. If you choose kettle or drizzle corn it can help keep your sweet tooth in check, as well!
– these make for another dorm snack that’s loaded with healthy fats. Nuts can be good for satiating the appetite because of this and even offer some protein.
But because they are high calorie, I recommend measuring out a serving instead of eating from the container. They can be easy to overeat.
– these little guys are actually UBER healthy for you, who would’ve thought? They’re packed with essential nutrients and even have fiber to boot.
I prefer to have a little more work to get them and like the shelled version, it keeps me busy without overindulging. This can get messy, though.
There are already shelled sunflower seeds available, too. Just beware that they are a higher calorie snack, so less is more.
Peanut Butter & Other Nut Butters
– its creamy, a little sweet and filling. Nut butters are compliment other dorm snacks, too.
Top a rice cake with some and a sliced banana for a mid-morning studying boost.
– try to steer clear of the sugar-laden Quaker oatmeal type packets. A big container of plain, quick or steel cut, oats is CHEAP and it will go far.
It’s simple to add in your own mix-ins like peanut butter, cinnamon or fruit. No pre-added sugar needed!
– ’cause you gotta live at least a little! I loooove chocolate and use dark chocolate, like cacao nibs, to keep my cravings satisfied.
Because dark chocolate has a higher amount of cacao, it also has less sugar which is what we want! Try to shoot for 72% or higher to get the most health benefits.
– you can’t go wrong with nuts it seems. Pistachios are another nutrient dense food to include on your dorm snack list for a well-rounded diet.
Whole Grain Tortillas/Spinach Wraps
– these are nice to have when you’re looking to eat something a little more hearty.
Add some lettuce, meat, and cheese, and you’ve got yourself more than just an average pre-packaged dorm snack.
– like I said earlier, fruit is a dorm snack best enjoyed in moderation. However, I do love to enjoy some banana chips.
– a nice little addition to sprinkle on yogurt or to eat by itself. Check how much sugar is in it though, before you buy.
My favorite low-sugar granola is Love Crunch’s dark chocolate & peanut butter.
– a low-calorie college snack that goes great with a little something spread on top. They even come in different flavors so you can switch it up from time to time.
– just a good ol’ combination of other snacks!
– a different way to squeeze a little extra protein into snack time. Spread it on rice crackers or make a yummy tuna wrap with pickles.
– when I want a granola type bar, these are what I reach for. Handy to take while running around campus, too.
I like the square bars in particular.
The quick list of healthy college snacks:
- Mandarin oranges
- Roasted chickpeas
- Peanut butter (JIF cups & single serving size packets are great for portion control)
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter, etc.
- Dried apricots & other dried fruit
- Apple chips
- Dark chocolate
- Mixed nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Pork rinds
- Seaweed snacks
- Protein bars (that aren’t just thinly veiled candy bars)
- Kind Bars
- Trail mix
- Rice cakes
- Rice crackers
- Dark chocolate
- Whole Grain Tortillas
- Spinach Wraps
- Quick oats/oatmeal
Now go get your snack on! I even have this handy list ready (above), so you can pin it and look at it later.
Which healthy snacks are at the top of your list?
Related articles about being healthy in college:
- The College Guide to Eating Healthy on a Budget
- 60 healthy recipes ideas for students (breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner & desserts)