People talk about the "freshman fifteen" for a reason. Although most freshmen don't gain fifteen pounds, most gain at least five. This is because college students are drawn to snacks that are easy to make and often do not pay attention to the lack to nutrition. Things like pizza and soda are high in sodium and sugar and don't contribute to a healthy diet. If you are starting to see the side effects of these snacks, try out some of these more health conscious choices.
We are all assuming that each dorm room has a mini fridge. You want to make sure that you stock up on foods that will keep for quite a while so that you don't waste a penny. Try hummus and pita chips. This snack is delicious, nutritious and vegan. For quick snacks, applesauce cups are a good choice. Try to find some without any added sugar. Cereal is a go-to option in college but cow's milk doesn't last very long. Try soy or almond milk; they have a much longer shelf life and come in some tasty flavors like vanilla and chocolate. Another good snack that works well in dorm room fridges is yogurt.
Now, assuming you have a microwave, soups and rice packages are a great idea. High in fiber, rice mixes well with anything and keeps for long periods of time. If you choose your soup wisely, you'll find that there are kinds that are well balanced with meats and vegetables.
If your dorm room lacks a fridge and you are limited to shelf and counter space only, nuts are a great snack for between meals. They are high in protein and will hold you over until your next meal. Along with that is bread and nut butter. Traditional peanut butter is high in sugars so stick with natural nut butters instead. Crackers go well with almost anything. Of course, if you have a fridge, throw some cheese and meats on your crackers to spice them up a bit.
It seems like they make protein bars in almost every flavor and for every type of person. I recommend Larabars for girls and Clif Bars for guys.
Rules about extra appliances varies from campus to campus, but if you are allowed, there are a couple extra things you may want to pick up to help make your dorm room cooking even better. A toaster is always something that comes in handy. From toast for breakfast to toasted sandwiches for dinner, the toaster is a simple appliance that makes a big difference. For even more dishes, cook with a toaster oven. You can make everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to personal pizzas.
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