By Lauren Feld
Moving from the comfort of your own home to a cramped dorm room can be a difficult transition. Above all, the loss of a stocked fridge and Mom flipping pancakes on a Sunday afternoon is enough to hurl you into a permanent funk. There comes a time in every college student's life when the excessive snoozing that leaves you with only a few minutes before class and a painfully empty stomach just becomes too much. By buying non-perishable or bulk food, you can fill your stomach without emptying your wallet and won't have to worry about your food spoiling within a few days. Here are a few simple, quick breakfast ideas that you can make in your room all by yourself, no Mom required.
Indulge in Oatmeal
Oatmeal doesn't have to be the bland and lumpy breakfast your grandmother used to force-feed you when you were eight. It's actually a scrumptious way to kick start the day without the sugar splurge. Plus, oatmeal has been proven to lower cholesterol and boost the immune system.
Try something like Quaker Instant Oatmeal Flavor Variety, which includes flavors such as Maple & Brown Sugar, Cinnamon & Spice and Apples & Cinnamon. This way you won't have to buy your own spices. Once you've made the oatmeal in your dorm microwave, add in raisins to boost your fiber and iron intake. If your sweet tooth is begging for more, throw in a few chocolate chips. Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips are lower in sugar than milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Lastly, if you're able to snag a banana or some fresh berries from the dining hall, slice them up and sprinkle on top.
Toast to You
Warning: This sweet and salty breakfast is sinfully delicious and instantly addicting. Slather peanut butter onto a slice of whole wheat bread. Cut half a banana into slices and place on top of the peanut butter. A banana is a great addition to any breakfast because it is not only sweet and tasty, but also naturally fat- and cholesterol-free, high in potassium, vitamin C and B-6 and helps regulate the digestive tract. Drizzle honey or agave nectar on top of the toast to finish it off, and for an extra kick of crunch, add sunflower seeds.
Sweet, healthy and satisfying, a Greek yogurt parfait is the perfect choice for a dorm room breakfast to fight off hunger pangs throughout the day. Plain Greek yogurt is packed with protein, contains much less sugar than regular yogurt and has essential healthy bacteria that improve intestinal health. The best bang for your buck is at Whole Foods, where their brand of yogurt is sold for $5.99 for 32 oz., enough to last you a week or two. While you're there, pick up a bag of Udi's Gluten Free Vanilla Granola, which adds just the right amount of sweetness to the tart yogurt and can help lower blood pressure and prevent anemia. Sprinkle the granola (or if you're in a bind, your favorite cereal) on top of the yogurt, and add fresh fruit such as berries, bananas or even a pear.
Shake it Up
Love fruit? Try a few of the Naked smoothies sold at Whole Foods, campus cafes and C-stores. Naked smoothies are 100% fruit and vegetable juice smoothies with no sugar or harmful chemicals added. If winter is making you nostalgic for vacation days spent lying on the beach, try a Power-C Machine. Made from strawberries, guava, apples, oranges, peach and mango, it will transport you to the Caribbean. It also provides you with 1000% of your daily Vitamin C, so Mom and your doctor will be pleased. If you need to work out in the morning or stay full for longer, try the Protein Zone Double Berry smoothie. It contains 16g of protein and lots of iron to prevent anemia. You can keep these in your fridge and grab them on the go when you're late.
Willing to invest in your future happiness? Hamilton Beach makes individual-sized blenders that are easy to clean and simple to use for only $20. Stock up on frozen fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and mangos. All you have to do is add milk or yogurt for a creamier texture, and blend! For a small bite before class, just reach for a box of cereal. It will feed you for weeks and can stay in your drawer for months. Check out Cereal Dater: Which Cereals Are Best? for some helpful suggestions. Always try to add fresh fruit to your cereal for essential vitamins and a gratuitous flavor boost. (Hint: venture away from the typical berries and bananas and test combinations of cereals with peaches, pears and mangos!)
Photos by Kirby Barth