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Healthy Eating Tips for College Kids: Part II

How can you eat healthy when time (and money) is tight?

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
September 27, 2010
Episode #109

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How to Eat Healthy When Time is Tight

This is the second of a two-part series for college kids and anyone else who finds that their ability to eat well is hindered by a lack of money, time, kitchen space, or cooking skills.   In Part I, I had some tips on making your food budget go further without sacrificing your nutrition. In this article, I have some tips on how to fit healthy eating habits into a tight schedule, as well as some advice on how to cook without a kitchen and how to survive on cafeteria food.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until the needle on your nutritional gas tank hits E to start thinking about what you’re going to eat for your next meal. Go shopping on the weekend so that you have healthy foods on hand for the week. Prep your lunch and snacks the night before so that you don’t run out of time before heading out in the morning. Set the alarm fifteen minutes earlier to leave time for breakfast. Trust me: fifteen minutes of extra sleep is not going to make that big a difference in your energy levels or alertness, but a healthy breakfast will.

Tip #2: Find the Good Cafeterias

A lot of students live on campus and/or have a full or partial meal plan that allows them to eat on campus. Many campuses have a variety of food choices, including cafeterias as well as fast food options. If you have an on-campus meal plan, take the time to scope out the healthier options, such as the dining halls that offer salad bars or vegetarian entrees, and head for those instead of the burger joints and pizza counters—at least, most of the time.

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