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Campus Cuisine: Maximizing Nutrition Within Your Student Budget

 Nutrition Tips for College Students

As a college or university student, you need to keep your body fueled. There are several ways that one should do that. Working out, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and eating, of course. Considering how hectic college years are for most undergrads, nutrition becomes something most young people tend to care for last. Busy with classes, extracurriculars, and part-time jobs, college and university students believe that eating healthy in college is impossible. Wrong! The good news is that with some simple nutrition tips for students below, you will surely build much healthier eating habits even while living on a budget.

How to Eat Healthy as a College Student

There’s no doubt that starting a new healthy habit can be challenging for busy college students. If you’re ready to start the new academic year with a new habit that will transform your life eventually, keep on reading!

Do not Skip Breakfast

If you wonder how to eat healthy in college, start with your breakfast. If you have morning classes, your very first meal during the day is crucial. The point here is that your brain needs some fuel. That is why having some healthy breakfasts like Nordic porridge, avocado toast, oatmeal pancakes, salmon sandwiches, etc. If you make sure to go for healthy college student nutrition when it comes to breakfast, chances are you will make healthy choices throughout the day and stick to a well-balanced diet.

Drink Water

One of the key hydration tips is to drink enough water during the day. Your body needs hydration to be energized. Water is something that doesn’t cost much and is readily available. For that reason, you have an opportunity to carry a reusable water bottle with you as you migrate from class to class on campus.

It doesn’t really matter where your water comes from. Ensure it is perfectly fine if you go for the tap water. At the same time, you can use a water filter pitcher or purchase bottled water.

Vegetables Is a Must in a Balanced Diet

No matter what meal of the day you’re about to take, including vegetables in each is the best (and the easiest!) way to ensure your body is supplied with all important nutrients and vitamins. Vegetables and fruits are full of vitamins that you can’t find in any other meal. Needless to say, they’re one of the most crucial elements of a balanced diet for students.

Plan Your Meals

College students may think that planning their meals is something that only people in huge families should do. Nonetheless, those busy people in college should plan their meals in order to switch to smart snacking and include all needed food groups into their diet.

The best thing here is that meal planning doesn’t have to necessarily include complex recipes, gluten-free options, or grocery lists you can’t afford. If there’s such thing as a campus meal plan, all you have to do is to pick the dining hall restaurant and healthy meal you will have there.

With a plan at hand, you will be able to focus on things that really matter. Just imagine yourself enjoying a healthy snack that you planned before while being focused on more important thoughts like, “It’s time to write an essay for me” or “I’m fully energized to get ready for the exam!”

Tips on Eating Healthy Food on Budget

Affordable healthy eating does exist! With the right planning and strategies, undergrads can make good foods choices that support their long-term health and college success without breaking their bank accounts. Meet some practical tips and tricks on how to stick to the budget-friendly meal while making the most of your resources.

Eat Local & Seasonal

Whether you’re a meat fan or someone who prefers vegetarian and vegan diets in college, check out your local market to get some seasonal products. All the seasonal vegetables and fruits are always more affordable since there are tons of those in the market. If you’d like to go for some exotic options, keep in mind that they will be highly expensive.

Shop in Bulk

It’s better to choose bulk shopping instead of visiting your local store every day to buy a little of this and that. Now that you have started to plan your meals, you will be able to calculate how many groceries are needed. With the whole scope of products at hand, you will be able to cook in batches to always have a healthy snack during busy days in college. What is more, you will thus avoid eating outside and reduce food waste along the way.

Go for Basic & Simple Meals

When you buy your groceries, ensure to choose basic (very simple!) foods. Get a better idea of how carbs and proteins work and purchase ingredients that are pocket-friendly yet nourishing. Below, we offer a simple, standard, and healthy grocery shopping list template that will guide you at the very beginning of your healthy eating path.

         A pair of legume-based proteins (such as lentils or chickpeas alongside Tofu or Tempeh);

         A duo of animal-derived proteins (including eggs and a selection of fresh or cured meats such as bacon or sausages);

         Three cereal options (comprising rice, various flours or pasta, and a choice between oats or quinoa);

         2-3 types of veggies (one will be used for cooking whole, two others will be for eating raw);

         2 kinds of fruits (you will use one to make a dessert while the other will become your snack);

         The “others” category (1 sauce + yogurt + seeds and/or nuts + some treats like maple syrup/cacao/honey, etc.

Nutrition Tips for College Students: Meet the Top Don’ts

When trying to stick to healthy food on a budget, a lot of college and university students tend to make tons of mistakes. Below, you are welcome to check some don’ts that are the kind of taboos in the healthy eating routine.

         Shop for individual meals. Instead of purchasing items for a single mean, consider how single ingredients can be used for multiple purposes.

         Purchase name brand. Tons of quality store- or off-brand things are there today. A lot of groceries today even provide a range of free from gluten, organic, and many other diet meals under the name of their brand.

         Never use loyalty cards. Even if there are no student discounts available in your local store, chances are they have the so-called loyalty card. Thus, you will be able to save some bucks on grocery products, and, as a result, you will get some points for future discounts.

         Eating out. Taking into account how much money people tend to spend on eating out, it is better to save this money and spend it on healthy meal options. Let’s attend fancy caf├ęs and restaurants on special occasions only while eating healthy every single day, benefiting from the money you save.


There’s no doubt that eating healthily in college can present loads of challenges. However, dozens of ideas exist for bringing nutritious and healthy food into your college routine. Never let things like a lack of high-class appliances, a tough budget, or a lack of nutrition skills derail your efforts.

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