Nutrition for College (part 1)

Research has shown that first time college students gain at least 15 pounds, and sometimes more during their freshmen year. Its call The Freshmen Fifteen. It’s a challenge to maintain healthy eating when you are stressed out over taking tests and studying around the clock; and then there’s the complexity of transitioning from high school life to college life. For the first time, your freshman is solo, on their own. Dad and especially Mom, are not around to monitor their eating habits.

In defense of your college bound freshman, who cares about counting calories when they just want to hang with their friends and enjoy their new found freedom, right? Your freshman is away from home for the first time, they can eat what they want and there’s no one around to monitor their eating habits. They no longer have access to mama’s good food and, of course, eating campus cafeteria food is a bit challenging, to say the least. So how can your freshman balance their campus life and eating healthy? Here are a few tips that you might want to pass along to your college bound kid-and you can use these tips for yourself:

  1. Pack the dorm room with healthy snacks. Fruits are always good to have on hand. They typically don’t need to be refrigerated; just pick them up, they can toss them into their book bag, and they’re good for the day.

  1. Nuts are always good, healthy snacks to have on hand; trail mixes made of nuts, some raisins, an even mini bits of their favorite chocolate can be a good energy boosters. Sometimes you can buy trail mixes prepackaged in individual bags. You can find some at Trader Joe’s.

  1. This next one is something parents can do anytime. Kids love to get love packages. My church actually had a person who, on her own, would periodically send care packages to college students who were away for school. Sometimes it was baked goodies, other times she would send gift cards. What a neat ministry to the college students. I always thought that was a terrific thing to do. My two girls benefited from this act of kindness! It made their day when they received a care package. Thanks Ms. Shelly! So yes, you can contribute to your child’s well being in college by sending them some nutritionally sound care packages to help them stay focused on healthy eating while away at school.

  1. If your freshman already has healthy eating habits, you can let them know that they can also keep fresh veggies like baby carrots, celery, and broccoli in their dorm refrigerator. Many times you can buys these already cut up for quick and easy eating.

  1. Another healthy option that requires little or no cooking are cans of BPA-free black beans, or beans of your choice, and low sodium soups. All that’s needed is a pop in the microwave to be heated through. Canned beans are a really good way to make bean burritos. They can just toss a few other items of choice on it, and your freshman is good to go. Not only is this healthy, but the fiber and protein in the beans make for a very satisfying meal. They will stay full longer. Using 100% whole wheat tortilla bread is always a good idea. Whole grains are not only heart-healthy but they keep you full longer, hence less snacking and less weight gain.

To be continued......


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