Smart Snacking To Combat the “Freshman 15”!

cereal berries milkEntering your freshmen year of college, moving away from home and living in a dorm room is a big transition. No longer relying on your parents to buy your groceries and cook your meals, you now have the freedom to control exactly what foods you choose to eat and put into your body.

The “freshmen 15” is a popular term used amongst college students, and refers to the idea that students gain fifteen pounds during their first year of college. Certainly, the “freshmen fifteen” does not apply to everyone and can be avoided. However, constantly snacking on junk food can eventually lead to weight gain during your college years.

Preparation is what makes all the difference; if you plan ahead and stock your dorm room with healthy snacks,  you leave yourself with no choice but to snack smart. Building a healthy snack can be fun and simple. Some common staple food items that our fellow Foodie On Campus interns like to stock in their dorm rooms include: peanut butter, baby carrots, fruit, cereal, almond milk, hummus, protein bars, and greek yogurt.

  • Peanut butter contains healthy fats and protein, which is sure to help keep you feeling full. A jar of peanut butter (or any nut butter) can easily be stored in your dorm room. Try spreading peanut butter on top of a rice cake, mixing it into your oatmeal, or using it as a dip for fruits and vegetables. Foodie On Campus intern Anna Lawler uses peanut butter as a dip for carrots, claiming that it is, “[…] an odd but delicious combo!”
  • Baby carrots are a convenient and affordable snack, which is why Foodie On Campus intern Stefani Pappas always keeps a bag of baby carrots in her fridge. Carrots provide a satisfying crunch, are high in vitamin A, and contain fiber, making them the perfect dorm room snack.
  • Fruit, high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, is always a healthy and convenient go-to snack. Fruits such as bananas, apples, and pears are portable, making them the perfect snack to throw in your backpack and bring along with you to class.
  • Cereal is another great food item that can easily be stored in your dorm room. Cereal is the perfect snack to have while studying because the carbohydrates provide you with energy to help keep you going. When purchasing cereal, be sure to get one that is low in sugar and 100% whole grain.
  • Almond milk, unlike dairy milk, can be bought and stored at room temperature until opened, making it a great item to stock up on and store in your dorm room. Almond milk not only tastes great, but it is also high in vitamin E and contains 50% more calcium than dairy milk. Intern Stefani Pappas always keeps almond milk on hand to use in cereal and in shakes.
  • Hummus, a prominent food in the Mediterranean Diet, is perfect to have as an afternoon snack. Foodie On Campus intern Michelle Baker always keeps a jar of hummus in her fridge to snack on with baby carrots.
  • Protein and energy bars are a great item to stock up on and to always have on hand. Protein and energy bars can easily be kept in your backpack and taken with you whenever you are on-the-go.
  • Greek yogurt, high in protein, is a tasty snack to have on hand. Purchase plain greek yogurt that contains no added sugar and add flavor to it yourself by mixing in nuts, fruits, and honey.

You never know when you are going to be in a rush and need to grab a quick bite to eat, or when a late night study craving might hit. As a college student, it is essential to snack smart and to be prepared. Energizing snacks, such as greek yogurt mixed with almonds and berries, will leave you feeling full and satisfied, providing you with ample energy to go about your day. The next time you find yourself up late at night studying, skip the vending machine and open up your fridge or bin of food and build a smart and healthy snack.

Photo Credit: Laura Asbury, FBM

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