10 Tips for Busy Students to Eat Healthy
Juggling classes, assignments, extra-curricular activities, a social life, and possibly a part-time job means that college presents a real challenge when it comes to time management. If you’re a busy student, you’ll know that eating a healthy diet can seem like a chore.
Try these tips to help you eat a better diet:
1) Stock up on items for a portable breakfast
Dietitian Jessica Crandell advises that a breakfast of a carb plus a protein helps stabilize your blood sugar and makes it more likely you will choose healthy options later in the day.
Make it easy to get your morning off to a good start by keeping wholegrain bagels, crackers, yogurts, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and boiled eggs to hand in the kitchen.
2) Get into a shopping routine
Figure out a few staple breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners. Write down the ingredients, and you have a shopping list you can use again and again. Rather than grabbing food on an ad hoc basis, save time and money by making a trip to the store once or twice per week.
Setting helpful routines is one of the most important skills you’ll ever learn – in every area of your life. To succeed in college and the workplace, you must learn how to prioritize and schedule tasks. If assignments are taking up all your time, the best college writing services can help you out.
3) Start batch cooking
If you don’t have the time or energy to cook a meal every night, cook a large batch of food on a Sunday night, divide it into containers, and then enjoy it throughout the week. Here are a few ideas:
- Pasta bakes and lasagnes
- Fish pie
There are lots of great apps out there to help you find recipes. Try Yummly, AllRecipes Dinner Spinner, and Yes, Chef! They are all free.
4) Drink lots of water
According to research published in Nature, even mild dehydration has a negative impact on your cognitive performance. As a student, you don’t want to sacrifice any brainpower, so drink water throughout the day.
If you dislike the taste of plain tap water, try these ideas:
- Add a few sprigs of mint to your water
- Try carbonated water instead
- Add a few berries
- Add a few slices of lemon or lime
- Invest in a water filter
5) Make sugar-free options standard
This is one of the easiest changes you can make. Simply swap out your regular soda for diet, and stop adding sugar to your cereals and drinks. If you can’t fathom a life without sweet coffee or tea, try a sweetener instead.
6) Have healthy snacks to hand when studying
Have you ever sat down to tackle an assignment and found yourself confronted with an irresistible urge to snack? Don’t let yourself absentmindedly eat candy and chips – stock up on smarter choices. Here are some ideas:
- Air-popped popcorn
- Wholegrain crackers and peanut butter
- Vegetable chips
- Protein bars
- Low sugar pudding cups that don’t require refrigeration
7) Challenge yourself to eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal
When it comes to fruit and vegetables, more is better. Make life simple by following this rule: Every time you have a meal or snack, add at least one serving of food from this group.
Here are a few tips:
- Get into the habit of adding a small plate of salad to your meal when eating in the dining hall
- Add a tablespoon of dried fruit to your breakfast cereal
- Microwave a portion of vegetables and add to your evening meal
- Add some fresh fruit to yogurt or ice cream
- Have a glass of pure fruit juice (only one serving per day) instead of an afternoon coffee
8) Quickly make food tastier with condiments, herbs, and spices
You’ll feel more inclined to eat healthy foods if they taste good! Condiments, herbs, and spices can instantly lift bland dishes. Stock up on the following:
- Chilli powder
- Lemon juice
- Garlic powder
- Soy sauce
- Curry powder
Experiment with these flavors and you’ll soon find some new favorite dishes. For example, chilli and spices are an effortless way of adding depth to roasted vegetables.
9) Learn how to transform ramen into a healthier meal
Ramen is a college staple. It’s quick, cheap, and it’s sold everywhere. Unfortunately, it is high in simple carbs and will not keep you feeling satisfied for long. Ramen is also high in sodium.
The good news is that it can still be part of a balanced diet, as long as you keep it for an occasional treat and make a few additions. Add some protein with a couple of boiled eggs, slices of meat, or a vegetarian alternative. Sprinkle over some sesame seeds and add some spring onions for extra nutrition.
10) Master the art of the stir-fry
Stir-frys are an excellent choice for busy students. They take less than 15 minutes to make. Be sure to prepare your ingredients before you start cooking, because you won’t have time to chop them up as you go.
Follow these steps:
1) Get a wok or large frying pan and add two tablespoons of peanut, light olive, or canola oil.
2) Fry a tablespoon of minced garlic and onion on a high heat. You should also add spices at this point if you want extra flavor. Ginger, cumin, and mustard seeds are just a few options.
3) Add a few small pieces of chicken, tofu, or any other protein you wish to use. Fry for a few minutes until cooked.
4) Next, add any vegetables you like. Bell peppers, sweet peas, onions, beansprouts, and water chestnuts are a few of the most popular.
5) Add a sauce or condiments. You can use store-bought sauces, or learn how to make your own using free online recipes.
Finally, don’t stress too much about your food
There’s no doubt that nutrition is important, but don’t beat yourself up if your diet isn’t perfect. It’s OK to enjoy a few treats from time to time, and there’s nothing wrong with the occasional junk food meal. As long as your everyday habits are healthy, you won’t go far wrong.