Remember those college days of eating ramen noodles and spaghetti-o’s? Not the healthiest choices but they were cheap and easy right? With so many college students that are more indul about healthy eating and keeping the freshman 15 at bay, there are plenty of ways to eat healthy without leaving your dorm room. ALl of these are healthy, cost-effective choices that require little pre and minimal kitchen tools!
Quick and on-the-go food can be a challenge, especially when you’re living in a dorm with no access to a full kitchen! There are some great options out there though that can be made quickly and easily and save you the trip through the drive through or a less-than-healthy meal in the dining hall. The key is finding foods that require minimal cooking or can be made using what little equipment you have on hand, like a microwave.
Oatmeal is always a quick and easy thing to make in a dorm. I’m not talking the oats that come in the little packets (these are full of artificial ingredients) but the real, quick cooking oats that you can by in a canister or large bag. It requires just a couple ingredients (water or milk), can be zapped in the microwave and cooked in less than 5 minutes, and is full of healthy carbs fiber and protein. And oatmeal can easily be customized and changed to appeal to your taste buds; add in almond butter, fruit, raisins, nuts, seeds protein powder…the sky's the limit. You can even do them the night before and do overnight oats in the fridge, by mixing the oats, liquid and mix-ins in a jar and letting is set overnight… and presto, a healthy breakfast!
Other easy healthy things that can be cooked in the microwave are frozen veggies, minute rice (found in a box), Amy’s meals (the brand has microwave meals with real, whole ingredients and no preservatives and can be heated up in your dorm!).
Some other great foods to have on hand in your dorm are snacks that be easily grabbed for on the go snacking. These are things like mixed nuts, trail mix, fruit, whole grain crackers (Mary’s Gone Crackers are always my recommendation), travel nut butter packets (single servings packets are at your local grocery store and are easy to pack and eat!), whole canned tuna in water (make sure it is whole, wild caught tuna in water with no other ingredients), and precooked chicken breast (found at the deli section at your grocery store).
Here are some quick, easy and cheap meals that can be made in the dorm with little preparation:
- Tuna Salad Full of protein (which keeps you fuller longer) and full of flavor; Mary’s Gone crackers are made with whole grains and seeds and are full of fiber and protein as well so you’re not eating this as empty calories like most chips and crackers. Total cost: about $5
Tuna Salad Ingredients:
1 pouch of organic, wild caught white tuna (find it at any HEB)
teaspoon of olive oil
spices of your choice (examples: lemon pepper, cumin and chili powder, salt and pepper)
1 boiled egg, chopped
chopped apple, celery, pickles (whatever else you like in your tuna salad!)
eat with 15 Mary’s Gone Crackers (find it in the GLuten Free aisle at HEB)
- Protein Wrap Ezekiel bread and tortillas are made with sprouted grains so your body can digest it more easily than regular whole grains, and is full of protein and fiber; this meal is a perfect balance of carbs, protein and fat, Total cost: about $6
Protein Wrap Ingredients
1 Ezekiel tortilla (in the frozen bread section at HEB)
2 tablespoon of hummus
veggies of your choice (greens, cucumber, peppers, tomatoes etc)
5 ounces of chopped roasted or baked chicken (seasoned however you like)
squeeze of olive oil and lemon or lime juice