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Simple Snack Ideas for College

If you’re finding yourself adjusting to college life and how that includes living in a dormitory or apartment-like setting, then this post is for you!

First of all, acknowledging that this can be a tough transition is normal. Navigating a dining hall can be challenging, especially for those who are working on their relationship to food. So if you don’t feel like you’ve totally gotten the hang of everything yet, that’s okay. Some ways to help prepare yourself for tackling the dining hall include: having a game plan ahead of time (such as viewing options on your campus website), being flexible with trying new items, going with friends you feel comfortable with (if you can), using dining dollars to try new places if able, and making sure you’re picking out foods that you know you enjoy and help to satisfy and energize you! You may also find that depending on your hunger and fullness signals and/or following a meal plan, your needs extend past what you’re able to get out of a dining hall experience; in this case, keeping items available in your room/apartment would be necessary.

Deciding what to keep in your dorm or apartment with (likely) limited space can also be difficult. You may not have access to certain appliances that you’re used to such as a refrigerator, freezer, microwave, oven, etc. and have to acclimate to preparing food without these amenities. Here are some easy to prepare ideas that don’t necessarily require all of the above appliances:

  • Macaroni and cheese (boxed, frozen or single serve cups)

  • Microwaveable or stovetop friendly soup, stew, ramen or chili

  • Frozen meals

  • Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables

  • Dried fruit

  • Fruit cocktail cups

  • Applesauce cups or pouches

  • Jerky

  • Nut butter

  • Oatmeal packages

  • Cheese or nut butter crackers

  • Granola or protein bars

  • Tuna or salmon in a can or pouch

  • Microwaveable popcorn

  • Trail mix

  • Pre-made salad kits

  • Microwaveable rice

  • Canned beans

There are of course plenty of other yummy food items you can and should have accessible if you like them and it’s feasible, but many of these above ideas can help to take the place of an additional meal if needed and help to provide a variety of different food groups.

And as always, if you find that the transition is more challenging than anticipated please do not be afraid to rely on supports. Let your treatment team know if you’re struggling or reach out for supports if you do not have a team as is. Even utilizing options such as a campus counselor or Registered Dietitian are an option at many colleges.


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