Eating healthy when you live in a dorm in not exactly easy. Often, the food is the cafeteria is greasy, and when you aren’t eating in the cafeteria you are probably eating fast food or getting snacks from a vending machine. Obviously, this is not a healthy diet, but it is what many students eat when they live in a dorm. While unhealthy food may be abundant on college campuses, eating healthy when you live in a dorm is possible.
1. Get a Mini Fridge
One of the ways to make eating healthy when you live in a dorm possible is to get a mini fridge. Many appliance stores carry them, and some college book stores even sell them. Having a mini fridge allows you to keep healthy snacks like fresh fruit, vegetables, and yogurt in your dorm room. This means that you never have to go to the vending machine for snacks; you can just open your fridge and pull out something healthy.
2. Invest in a Microwave
When I lived in a dorm, my mini fridge had a microwave that was attached to it. I must admit the microwave really helped me be able to eat healthy. I could make instant oatmeal or rice in it. I could also heat up a cup of low sodium soup. Getting a microwave will allow you to have healthy, hot meals that are easy and fast.
3. Stick to Salads
One thing college cafeterias have going for them is the salad bar. Some salad bars are better than others, but they all offer lettuce and vegetables. Take advantage of the salad bar, and have a big salad for lunch or dinner every day. Pile the lettuce high with vegetables and add some chickpeas for protein. Just watch the salad dressing, which can be loaded with calories and fat.
4. Reach for Whole Grains
If you eat at the cafeteria often, make sure you choose whole grain items like whole wheat bread. Also, avoid sugary cereals and opt for a cereal such as plain Cheerios or Shredded Wheat. Eating whole grain items will give you more fiber and nutrients than products made with refined flours.
5. Apples and Bananas Are Your Friends
Cafeterias almost always have apples, bananas, and oranges available. Take advantage of this and eat a piece of fruit at each meal. Also, on your way out of the cafeteria grab a piece of fruit to go. This way, you will have a healthy snack if you get hungry between meals.
6. Stock up on Nuts and Seeds
In addition to eating fruit as a healthy snack, you can also eat nuts and seeds. Keep a couple of bags of nuts and seeds in your dorm room for a healthy snack that has some protein and healthy fat. Just be sure to get raw nuts and seeds that don’t have any added oil or salt.
7. Choose the Healthiest Option
Since you can’t be perfect all the time, try to make the healthiest choice available when you are eating at the cafeteria or at a fast food restaurant. For example, spaghetti with marinara sauce is a much better choice than macaroni and cheese. Likewise, a vegetarian sub is a healthier choice than a meatball sub. Just take a look at the options available, and choose the healthiest one.
Eating healthy when you live in a dorm can be a challenge, but it is possible. Using these tips can really help you eat a healthier diet while you live in a dorm. How do you make sure you eat healthy during the school semester?