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Tips from an Expert: 5 Healthy Foods for College Students

Tips from an Expert 5 Healthy Foods for College Students
Are you headed to college soon to start a new chapter in your education? Lo and behold, a nerve-racking change chapter has probably unfolded for you. New classes, friends, housing, diet, eating habits and whatnot—essentially everything is new in your life! Eating out with friends sounds great, but soon, you will get incredibly bored with the idea of dining out with your fellows. You might even start craving healthy homemade foods, but wait—you won't be home, right?

Nothing to worry about—we have collected the top five best and the most healthy foods for college students, recommended by UK health experts. Let's quickly get an overview of these must-have diet portions.

Expert Tips on Eating Healthy Foods for College Students:

You need to eat healthy food to fuel your body for an exhausting college season. The good news is that you can fulfil your nutrient needs by consuming a healthy diet daily. Here are the top five healthy foods for college students that you must include in your eating habits:

1. Maintain a Balanced Diet

Your parents may have made you tired of eating those vegetables or fruits at home, but that's what the major portion of a balanced diet comprises. While in college, you must maintain a balanced diet. Now let's discuss what a healthy and balanced diet is composed of.

Healthy Diet: It means that your food intake has a regular and maintained balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and other vitamins. To get all these nutrients, you shall ensure that there is enough fat, protein, carbohydrate, and fiber in each of your meals.

A rule of thumb for eating a balanced diet means that you shall consume 1–2 servings of fruits or vegetables with each meal, coupled with a serving of fat, proteins (chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, yoghurt), and a starch (legume, starchy vegetables, grains). College students love to overeat fried food, but you must know that consuming those sodas and sugary snacks harms you more than doing any good.

A study shows that only one in five students have good eating habits, which involve healthy snacking, less fast food, and more intake of vegetables. (Study Source: Bbc.com.)

2. Never Skip Breakfast—Even if you get up at lunchtime

This one is the most important to practice: NEVER skip a healthy breakfast even if you wake up at noon when it is lunchtime. You must start your day by eating high-fiber carbohydrates (whole wheat toast, fruits) or healthy fat/protein.

Eating a healthy breakfast has multiple benefits; it regulates your metabolism, controls your hunger, stabilizes your blood sugar levels, and helps you do better in class. Even if you do not have enough time for breakfast, ensure that you consume any of these healthy foods for college students:

  • • Portions of cheese
  • • Fruits
  • • Milk/almond milk
  • • Hardboiled eggs
  • • Oatmeal with a packet of nut butter
  • • Yoghurt, chia seeds and nuts

3. Exercise Regularly and Maintain Your Weight

When planning your semester and scheduling everything in advance, do not forget to adjust regular exercises in your schedule. Treat it as an important class you cannot miss at any cost. Imagine sitting on a student chair, studying and taking academic help online for most of the day and gaining so much weight—would you like it? Exercising is vital to maintain weight, get better sleep, and help you relieve your academic anxiety.

Whether you choose to join the college sports teams, enrol yourself in a fitness class or go to the gym, exercise and exercise daily!

4. Explore New Eatables at the Dining Hall

If you have already joined a college, your experience with a college dining hall must be half good, half bad. These halls can prove a blessing because you can choose something new to eat every day, and simultaneously they can also be a curse because you may choose something unhealthy to eat, which will disturb your eating habits. You should try new dishes and explore new cuisines and flavors. Such combinations can be fun to try and are also full of nutrients. Include a little of everything you want to try in your menu and enjoy new food experiences.

5. Snacks—You must have them with you all the time!

What is the thing that can act as a power boost and fuel your brain and body during back-to-back classes in college? Snacks—that's the answer! You must ensure that you have enough snacks with you all the time. Stock your pantry with healthy snacks, and always keep one or two packets in your bag. Do not hesitate to ask your family members to send snacks on a regular basis; rest assured that they will love to do so just as much as you'd love to receive them. Promise!

Here are a few examples of the snacks that must be included in the diet chart of healthy foods for college students:

  • • Seed packets add a good amount of nutrients to any oatmeal bowl, smoothie or yoghurt.
  • • Nut butter paired with bananas and apples.
  • • Seaweed snacks—they contain a good amount of vitamin C in them.
  • • Popcorn—who doesn't love eating popcorn? Store as many packets as you can in your dorm!
  • • Protein bars will also prove good snacks for daily eating.
  • • Rice cakes are easily portable and can provide you with essential carbohydrates and fiber.

You must practice healthy eating habits as they shall help you concentrate better on your studies. Believe it or not, a healthy diet sets the foundation for students' academic success.


Wrapping up the discussion, these were the top five healthy foods for college students that you should eat on a regular basis. Try starting a little dinner club with your friends who can cook. It will be ideal if you live off campus and crave family dinners. Help your friends cook the meals, and by the time you graduate from college, you will have become an excellent cook, along with getting a new degree! (Pun intended.) Hope you have a great semester.

Written by Olive
Olive, MS, RD, CDN, is a renowned nutritionist, wellness and cooking expert. She founded Healthy Life Studio and provides online, forward-thinking, and unparalleled education to college students on maintaining a healthy diet.
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