Let's face it: college students have busy schedules and limited budgets. They need quick, easy food options for during class and on the go. Those who live in dorms typically only have access to a refrigerator and microwave, so it can be hard to eat fresh, healthy foods.
Eating Healthy in College
Rather than beating yourself up about late-night pizza or too many chicken tenders, focus instead on eating healthy when you can. Even swapping out a small snack for one with cleaner ingredients is a step in the right direction, and it doesn’t have to cost a whole bag. You’re much more likely to stick with this approach long-term while also saving yourself the hassle of dealing with food guilt that comes with strict dieting. Being aware and informed about the ingredients in your food can allow you to feel confident in your choices. Finding your good is a journey and looks different for everyone.
How to Find Healthy Foods at School
The best way to start making better food choices is to read food labels! Understanding the ingredients behind the food you eat can make all the difference. Luckily, Trash Panda’s here with a quick rundown on all things ingredients.
Check out our full list of Healthy Food Options for College Students!
Healthy Foods for the College Dorm
Amy's Breakfast Burrito
Everyone needs an easy breakfast option to fuel up for a busy day, and we love these Amy’s breakfast burritos made with organic ingredients. Keep a few of these in the dorm freezer when you’re in a pinch.
Millet & Brown Rice Ramen
Realgood Foods Steak Burrito Bowl
It’s so hard to find frozen meals made with real ingredients, but these grain-free Realgood bowls fit the bill! Made with steak, cauliflower, beans, and pico de gallo.
Read the Ingredients Label
Food labels are super confusing and in the smallest font ever. It’s hard to read something when you have no idea what any of the words mean. But when we don’t read food labels, we tend to rely on the marketing claims on the front of food packaging.
Most products that claim healthy ingredients on their label are trying to appeal to an audience that doesn't know what “healthy” means. These misleading labels seek to profit off consumers’ growing interest in clean-eating, animal welfare, and environmentally friendly agriculture - without actually making meaningful changes to their farming and production practices. #readthelabel.
Clean Snacks for College Classes
Every Body Eat Cheese-less Thins
Good and Gather Organic Olive Oil & Himalayan Salt Popcorn
Popcorn is the perfect snack for college students. Target's Olive Oil & Himalayan Salt Popcorn is great to share with friends or save for yourself!
Why do Ingredients matter?
Ingredients matter because they are the source of your food. And while nutrition labels can be helpful, it is important to understand that not all calories are created equal and the source of the calorie matters far more than the number.
You can make any food low in calories by processing the life out of it and filling it with additives and preservatives, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Being aware of the ingredients in your food can lead to you feeling more confident when grocery shopping in college and beyond! Making healthier food choices as a student doesn’t have to be a dramatic change in your eating habits, start small and do what works best for you!
Always remember to check those ingredients while shopping, and use the Trash Panda app to find the good stuff!