Dorm room food: Ways to avoid the freshman fifteen

Sarah Harris

It’s hard to keep up a good diet while living in a college dorm. Here are a few healthy snack ideas that will help you when you don’t have much time to run to the cafe!

Cereal, as simple as it is, can be a great go-to. Rather than buying sugary cereals like Fruit Loops or Corn Pops, try getting a type of cereal that has less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. Cereal can be bland sometimes but if you add a few ingredients, you can make it taste differently every day. Try throwing in some craisins or raisins. Any kind of nut can jazz up a bowl of cereal as well. If you have some bananas or strawberries, cut some up and throw that in too!

Rather than eating chips like Doritos or Lays that can be loaded with salt, try eating plain popcorn. It fills you up and is less in calories than other types of chips. If you are in the mood for something a bit sweet, throw in a few dark chocolate chips. Not too many though.

A microwave can be very useful. If you are sick of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, try making a cup of soup in the microwave. Make sure to look at the labels for the amount of sodium they put in it because a lot of companies sneak in loads of salt into their soups. You can also eat some crackers on the side of that, make sure to look at the sodium count on those as well.

If you have a mini-fridge in your dorm room, stock it with vegetables like carrots and celery. Vegetables like those are great to eat with hummus. It fills you up and is much better than eating a box of cookies.

Bread can be a little bit heavy on the stomach. If you are looking to eat something a bit lighter, try eating a rice cake. Spread all natural peanut butter on it and some jelly if you want. You could also place bananas and cinnamon on top.

Eating granola or almonds is better than eating something like pretzels because it fills you up for longer. Pretzels are a tricky food because you may think that they fill you up, however the satiation will only last for a short time, and the amount of salt can dehydrate you. Foods like granola and almonds fill you up and keep you full. Be careful while shopping for granola because brands will throw in extra sugar to make it taste sweeter. Also, remember that these foods are not necessarily low-calorie, but they do contain better types of fat.

Fruit is another key snack to have in your dorm room. Fruit is a great option when you are craving something sweet. Eat an apple or banana rather than candy. Sometimes fruit isn’t filling enough so try adding something like all-natural peanut butter. Peanut butter can help fill you and keep you full, as well as adding in some protein.

College students are known for living on very limited sleep, and in response our bodies often seem to be craving junk food. One common craving is ice-cream, which though delicious, is calorie heavy. Fruit popsicles fit easily in a mini-freezer, and are typically under 100 calories. If you are looking to keep the calcium in your dessert you can throw a yogurt in the freezer, and it turns into a cross between ice-cream and Italian ice.

Regardless of these short-cuts to healthier eating, if your goal is to avoid the ‘Freshman 15’ the most important rule to remember is moderation. Eat what you want, and don’t deprive yourself, but make sure you read the labels first, and limit your portion size.