The transition from high school into college is often overwhelming. Having to develop a sense of responsibility especially in one’s own nutrition and being solely accountable for what you eat may not be a walk in the park especially for those who haven’t had prior training on cooking. The initial stages may involve a lot of take-outs, pizza, junk food and perhaps one-minute-noodles. Often times many students end up with food poisoning due to mishandling of food items or just unhealthy nutritional habits. Some individuals may indulge in excess energy drinks and calorie stacked snacks than normal just to keep them agile enough to take on midnight studies.
Feeding in college
Many colleges provide dining options for live-in students on daily basis. It is usually easy to check what is on the menu. In some cases the menu is displayed on the college website to enable applicants to make informed choices.
There are vegan and vegetarian options as well as all sorts of culinary delights. This option however is not applicable in every college. There are also quite a number of colleges that are well furnished with kitchen utensils and electronic devices such as microwaves and others, which would enable students to do their own cooking.
What is college food like?
Some very popular question are “what kind of food is served in college?”, “is the food in the dining hall good?” A more frequent one is “is college food healthy?”
Some colleges offer as much as 19 varieties a week and some other 12. The frequency may be 3-4 meals per day.
In many cases, since we all have standards, the food may or may not be so great, especially when menus change during each season. Quarterly menu may come with its own peculiarities and maybe weekends too. A typical college daily menu may contain the following:
- Ham, Bacon, Eggs (boiled, scrambled)
- Hash browns
- Tea, coffee, orange juice
- Tater Tots
- Chicken soup
- Vegetable medley
- Corn, wheat, beans
- French fries
- Grilled turkey, beef, chicken
- Greens and rice
- Chicken, turkey, beef
What is the typical college grocery list like?
Yes, you may have to do your own cooking if you find yourself in colleges that do not provide dining hall dishes. This may be overwhelming at first, having to manage your time effectively in order to intermittently grab a bite before getting back to those books. However, a well-rounded grocery list might help you stay stocked for as long as possible till the next shopping weekend swings by. Keep in mind that your grocery list must contain a healthy balance in order to stay healthy.
One must put certain things into consideration when grocery shopping for college. Due to the shortness of time and pace of studies, one may have to consider quick meals on the go, easy- to- make dishes or bites, highly nutritious ready-made snacks, and also food items that are likely to stay fresh for a lengthy period. Based on the Pro-Papers research, a healthy grocery list should contain:
- Fruits (apples, bananas, oranges)
- Cheese, butter, jam, mayonnaise
- Oat meal
- Macaroni and cheese
- Mixed nuts
- Sandwich items
What to eat in order to stay healthy
The strenuous daily study routines in college leaves very little time for major cooking however, there are hassle-free recipes and quick-snacks that one can make and these are both nutritious and healthy. Here are some healthy edible items to keep around:
Granola bars – These nutritious breakfast bars are packet with energy, and all the necessary nutrients to stay healthy. It is also very convenient when one is in a hurry.
Pasta and noodles – These are some of the easiest meals to make. It is satisfying and can go with literally any sauce.
Milk and yoghurt – Dairy products are rich in fat, minerals, protein, vitamins, phosphorus, iodine, and others. It is a sure way to keep the energy levels up.
Bread salad and tuna – This combination makes a heck of a sandwich! If you are feeling really adventurous you could throw in some other condiments to spice up the flavor. A sandwich makes room for creativity
Cereal – The interesting thing with cereal is that it is a quick-bite, comes in a wide variety of flavors, and is a suitable snack for any time of the day.
Fruits and Veges – Fruits are rich in vitamins which are needed daily for various metabolic processes and so are vegetable. A simple apple or banana a day would do.
Food preservation and safety in college
Living and eating healthy also means proper food preservation in order to avoid spoilage. Always keep groceries refrigerated, especially perishable goods such as fruits and vegetables.
Staying healthy- what to avoid
Sometimes students tend to develop very unhealthy feeding due to the college lifestyle and this can greatly affect health either immediately or on the long run.
Any food or snack that contains excess calories or sugar is a NO. The best way to stay healthy is to make planned trips to the grocery store in order to restock with fresh and healthy food items, store them properly and resist calorie-riddled junk foods as much as possible.