Being a college student is hard. We all know how it goes. You jump out of bed, workout, run from class to class, go to various club meetings, hit the library for a night-time study session, and by the end of the day, you realize that all you’ve eaten is a bunch of on-the-go snacks and processed foods that are anything but good for you. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way.
With a well-stocked fridge and some intentionality, any college student can develop the healthy habits they need to have a balanced diet. As a dietetics student, I really try to supply my body with the nutrients I need to stay healthy. Obviously, this isn’t easy, since I’m constantly on the go. But over the past few years, I’ve developed a solid list of healthy on-the-go snacks that get me through the day. If you’re on the hunt for some healthy snack options and don’t know where to start, keep reading for some delicious (and nutritious) on-the-go snack ideas.
1. Veggies & Hummus
You really can’t go wrong with this classic snack. Whether it’s homemade hummus or just something store-bought, this dip is full of plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Some of my favorites to dip are carrots, cucumbers, and celery. Of course, these veggies are also a great source of various nutrients. And who doesn’t need more of that?
2. Applesauce & Granola
This is a great combo year-round, but it’s my favorite snack in the fall. Not only are the apples in season, but I love making homemade applesauce and granola and eating it warm. For those of us with busy lifestyles, though, we can take this snack with us on the go too.
3. Yogurt & Seeds
Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is an excellent source of protein and calcium. Plus, many yogurt brands today sell their product in individual-serving packages, making them super easy to stick in your lunch box before class or work. For some extra texture, I like to add my favorite seed trio: hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Of course, these seeds are so good for you too!
4. Bananas & Peanut Butter
Bananas are easily my favorite fruit to take on the go. They’re so easy to throw in your lunch box, especially since they have a built-in wrapper! Plus they’re packed with potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, and fiber. What’s not to love?
And who doesn’t love a little peanut butter on this tasty fruit? Peanut butter sometimes comes in individual packages, but it is also super easy to stick in a mini Tupperware. This creamy (or crunchy) spread is a great source of protein and healthy fat.
Popcorn is a great snack for when you have the munchies, but aren’t super hungry. I like keeping it in my lunch box to prevent me from overeating more calorie-dense foods. Plus popcorn has whole grains and fiber and is high in many vitamins and minerals, including various B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
6. Energy Bars
We’ve all had those mornings when we’re running late and trying to get out the door as fast as possible, but we haven’t packed a snack yet. Enter energy bars to save the day. Energy bars are perfect for those times when you were supposed to leave the house 5 minutes ago, but still need to grab on the go snacks to get you through the day.
There are tons of good brands out there, some of my favorites being Lara Bars, RXBARs, and Belvita Bars. However, when shopping for these handy snacks, it’s important to read the nutrition label and the ingredients list. Some brands can be really high in sugar, even if they are being marketed as “healthy.” Or, you can always make your own.
7. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs have tons of protein and other amazing nutrients. Just one egg contains about 1/5 of the recommended dietary intake amount of protein. Compared to other whole foods, they also contain an incredible amount of vitamins and minerals, making it easy to get lots of the nutrients you need without eating too much of different foods. Eggs are also extremely cheap and convenient! I usually boil about 6 eggs at the beginning of the week to have around for a snack on-the-go.
A smoothie is one of my favorite things to take with me during the summertime. They are so refreshing, and so easily customizable to whatever you’re in the mood for. Smoothies are generally packed with nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, seeds, and nuts, making them a great way to get in those vitamins and minerals that your body needs. I also love to top them with granola or more fruit, nuts, or seeds for some extra flavor.
We all have those days when we just don’t have time to relax and prepare food for ourselves. Those are the best times to have some healthy, easy, grab-n-go snacks ready in the kitchen.
If you know you have a busy week coming up, take a quick trip to your local farmers’ market or grocery store and stock up on some of these 8 snacks. They’re easy to prepare and perfect for a busy lifestyle. College is a crazy stage of life, but that doesn’t mean we need to let our food choices slip through the cracks. With some mindful planning, any college student can still have a balanced and nutritious diet.
(Note: This article was written 100% by me, Georgia. However I first published it as a Spoon University article.)