Your college dorm will come equipped with enough space for you to sleep and have a desk. It will also be equipped with a communal bathroom and shower so you can stay clean.
One of the comforts of home that most likely won’t be available to you, however, is a kitchen. Though you’ll most likely have a microwave sitting on top of your mini-fridge, you’ll be hard pressed to invite friends over for anything more intimate than a TV dinner.
Eating a healthy diet while in college can pose a challenge without any way to cook for yourself. The dining halls are, of course, your main option, but they are often heavily laden with unhealthy food like burgers, fries, and pizza. Even though these challenges exist, you’ll want to make sure to eat a healthy diet while in college. Here are three tips to help you do so.
1. Choose The Right Food At The Dining Hall
Unfortunately, most colleges aren’t directly responsible for the food they serve in their dining halls. Most choose to outsource food delivery and preparation to massive food service conglomerates and the money usually goes to the provider with the lowest rates.
Because of this, some colleges have terrible food provided in their dining halls. Pizza and fries are cheap to provide, and so long as they keep students full they allow these providers to make a large profit.
Be aware that these cheap, unhealthy options will most likely be the most prevalent. Healthy food will be available, but you may need to pass by three counters of pre-packaged high-fructose corn syrup before finding it.
Look to the salad bar and baskets of fruit in your dining hall for healthy options. If possible, sneak some healthy apples or bananas out of the hall so that you can eat them later. (Bring your backpack into the dining hall with you to really load up!)
Choosing to focus on the most nutritious items in the dining hall and avoiding the tempting, greasy options will go a long way to keeping you healthy in college.
2. Buy Healthy Items At The Store That Don’t Need Cooking
If you can’t sneak them out of the dining hall, get your fresh fruits and vegetables from your college general store.
You can buy many vegetables that will make an inexpensive, healthy snack. Having these healthy items on hand will keep you from running to the vending machine for chocolate during your late night study sessions.
Fruits like apples, bananas, pineapple, grapes, and strawberries can be eaten any time and can be conveniently stored in your fridge. (They also go great with peanut butter!) Vegetables like carrots, cherry tomatoes, and sweet peas can also be munched on at convenient times.
Loading up your dorm room fridge with items like these from your college store will go a long way towards helping you stay healthy in college. They are also inexpensive, making them available to you without burning through your college budget.
3. Get Some Help From Home
Once in college, your health is in your own hands. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t reach out to parents for help when it comes to staying healthy.
Your parents want you to feel great in college just as much as you do. Asking them for a healthy delivery from home will likely be met with a very positive response!
Rather than just asking for money, (which you would probably spend on something unhealthy anyway) ask for a box of health-packed supplements from home. Pouches containing health foods like Flax seeds, Mila seeds, or similar products are perhaps too expensive for you to buy on your own, but they will most likely be very affordable for your parents.
Mixing some of these powders into a glass of water every morning will help you get the vital nutrients your body needs. Doing a little research online and letting your parents know that you care about your health is very likely to get you a helping hand.
If you know specifically what you need, vitamin supplements can also be a good option. Don’t, however, buy these supplements without doing a little research. There are far too many options available and a shopping spree on items like these can leave you sending your parents a wish list worth hundreds of dollars!