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10-items-to-keep-in-your-dorm-roomLeave for College and Stock Up with Healthy Smart Foods!

Leaving home can be daunting for many 18-19 year olds this time of year.  And although many college university campuses have wonderful meal plans, the reality is... the cafeteria isn't necessarily open during late nights or weekend hours.  This means that every college student should have a mini-firdge and/or a microwave.  Pricing on these items has dropped since I went away, making it very affordable to have one or both between roommates to share.

The next step is to keep a few essential items in your dorm room on hand that are delicious, portable and healthy.

Top Things to Buy for Your Dorm Room

1. Instant Hot Chocolate

Chocolate has many benefits, but most recently a study showed that sipping a cup of hot chocolate could help boost energy levels in the late afternoon.  Being that many students are up late studying, sipping hot chocolate may have the same benefits and certainly a better option than high calorie energy drinks.

2. Bottled Water or Gatorade G2

Water is essential for concentration.  The more hydrated you are the better your brain works.  That said, due to extra curricular activities in the late hours of the evening, staying hydrated and keeping your electrolytes in balance is important.  Gatorade G2 offers the benefits of hydrating water, but also has important carbohydrates to keep your energy up without caffeine which many people are sensitive to. Plus it's lower in calories than soda or coffee lattes.

3. Healthy Quick Snacks like Skinny Pop or Pop Chips

Both Skinny Pop and Pop Chips offer a flavor packed snacking with a low calorie intake. The salty flavors on both of these may satisfy that snack craving of higher calorie taco snacks or potato chips.

4. Protein like Egg Beaters

Protein is key in the morning to add to your smoothies and balance out the increase in blood sugar from fruits.  Although greek style yogurts have a higher protein count than traditional ones, adding a liquid protein like Egg Beaters 100% Natural egg whites can offer up to 5 grams of protein in 3 tbspns of liquid.  No powder aftertaste like traditional protein powders can have.

5. Peppermints

Peppermints are known to help one have fresh breath but they are also a great way to boost your energy.  Peppermint chewing gum are another great idea.

6. Cans of Soup

Soup it does the body good and certainly can fill you up on a cold morning.  Although you should always check the labels for calorie counts.   You'll find that Campbell Soups among many others have made great changes in their products over the years to reduce sodium, calories and increase the nutritional values as well.  Plus it's quick and easy to heat and eat.

7. Protein Bars

These quick to carry with you snacks or meal replacements are a good thing to have on hand.  Remember a good breakfast at every age is key to good learning.  Try the Designer Whey Chocolate Carmel Crunch bars at only 170 calories.  They taste like a candy bar but are a much better choice.

8. Bananas or Apples

These fruits can be picked up from the cafeteria at most schools and a good snack.  Research shows that given the choice between fresh fruit as a snack or having nothing, if the fruit is there you're more likely to reach for it.  Giving students the better options on hand helps them make better choices.  Plus apples and bananas stay fresh for days.

9. Tea or Instant Coffee

Although there always seems to be a Starbucks around the corner, having some options for a cup of tea or instant coffee in the dorm room may help save on spending money and keep them inside to study a bit longer.

10. Cheese

Laughing Cow offers small wedges of cheese under 50 calories to munch on and keep food cravings at bay.  They have many flavors including light creamy Swiss, garlic and herb, and even a light Mozzarella with basil and sun-dried tomato.  They stay best in your fridge but can be taken along for a lunch or in between class break.

Having healthy options is key to keeping off the freshmen fifteen or even the continued college weight gain.

For more healthy eating tips and tricks, visit www.andreametcalf.com

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