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College brings many lifestyle changes: location, living space, physical activity, and eating habits. For any student looking to adhere to a healthy lifestyle, these shifts can bring difficulty and stress. Although it’s easy to be tempted by unhealthy snacks and dining hall meals, there are many dorm room-friendly foods that will help you maintain heathy habits.
Instead of spending money on processed foods and soda from the vending machine, add healthy snack items that can be stored in an air-tight container or a mini refrigerator to your grocery list. Some options will last for a month before going bad, and others can be stored for up to a year if kept in a safe, dry place.
Healthy eating should be practiced in and out of the dorm room. If you need help navigating the dining hall and more, check out the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate on Campus, which provides information on portion size, necessary nutrients, and physical activity. Preparation is always the first step toward a successful and healthy lifestyle — remember to keep healthy options in your dorm to reach for when you need to fuel another late-night paper-writing session.
“If you keep nut butter packets in your bag, you'll add a healthy punch of protein that will hold you over to the next meal,” says Gaby Wilday, founder of No Fuss Lunch, a lunch delivery program that has become a catalyst for healthier school-served lunches across the Tri-state area. “Eat these with celery, bananas, multigrain toast, or even on their own.” Allergic to nuts? Substitute seed butters for nut butters — they’re just as delicious.
Baked Whole-Grain Chips
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Sometimes a little salty crunch is necessary, but instead of reaching for the bag that has been deep-fried, look for baked chips that contain whole grains. That way, you eliminate a lot of the unnecessary fat that comes from a normal bag of chips. The hearty whole grains will also keep you fuller longer.