Food for a College Student – Ideas & Guidelines

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food for a college student

Wondering about food for a college student?

Sometimes a college student might get so overloaded with studying, that they forget to eat at all.

Adding to stress is living in the dorms, the rush between classes, hobbies, lack of sleep, and friends.

No wonder so many college students face endless convenient carb heavy meals, snacks on the go, and lots of caffeine.

Some of them help manage stress by planning, getting support, utilizing vitamins, or even by asking for help editing their papers with online services.

However, if you’re still stuck on what to eat, here are a few ideas and guidelines to consider.

Guideline: Hot Breakfast

To reduce the stress in college you should not only google “who can edit my paper for me” but also try to find some decent breakfast recipes to start your day properly.

A student’s breakfast should not be light and dietary. Preferably carbohydrate porridge, pasta, or potatoes. The dish should be boiled, baked, or smashed by a food processor.

Starchy garnish is digested slowly, so the blood glucose level does not jump, but changes slowly, giving strength until lunch, including mental activity.

It is recommended to supplement breakfast with vegetables or fresh fruits, wash down with tea, juice, or coffee with milk. Add butter or milk to a hot side dish.

For busy students, carbohydrate breakfasts can be alternated or replaced with protein breakfasts – scrambled eggs with vegetables with avocado toast and kefir or cottage cheese with supplements – yogurt and fresh fruit. Choose low-fat dairy products, but not 0%.

Please know that many college students struggle with food and may need a meal plan tailored for eating disorders.

Idea: Liquid Lunch

Liquid hot soup – fish, meat, or vegetable broth – is digested better and takes up a large volume in the stomach.

The soup can be accompanied by a piece of lean fish or meat, vegetables – salad or stew, a piece of bread with bran.

To recharge the brain for homework or further lectures, you can treat yourself with dessert – fresh fruits or a piece of natural chocolate. 

Guideline: The Right Snack

Sandwiches are different, and not every sandwich is a danger to the stomach.

For example, replace the sausage with low-fat baked meat, add lettuce and tomato or bell peppers and carrots, base it on whole-grain bread, and perhaps have mayonnaise, yogurt or low-fat cheese.

Idea: Less Caffeine

Caffeine, of course, stimulates the brain and gives a boost of energy. But not for long.

After some time, the body will demand a new portion, as a result, after the day’s caffeine load in the evening you will feel overexcited, it threatens insomnia, the concentration of attention, restless sleep, and subsequently the accumulation of fatigue and chronic depression.

Mostly consuming caffeine by students increases during exam and session periods. And yet, it’s much better to delegate some of the writing assignments to CertifiedWriters than put your health and well-being in danger.

Drink coffee strictly in the first half of the day, no more than 2-3 cups a day.

Give preference to natural beverages rather than instant drinks from vending machines.

Guideline: A Light Dinner

Student dinner parties are often about alcohol, unhealthy snacks, or heavy fatty foods. Such habits should be abandoned or at least reduced.

It is better to have a snack for the night with something sour milk or cook fish with vegetables and fried rice, a piece of grilled cheese, a glass of milk.

Extra tip: what every student should have in their cupboard?


Buckwheat, rice, barley, pearl barley, oatmeal, peas – all these will be good for cooking soups and main dishes


As much as possible and in any form. Pasta is the alpha and omega of every student’s diet.

Ramen noodles are not healthy but sometimes they really help.

Tomato paste

It’s better to replace the ketchup you like so much and, of course, mayonnaise with tomato paste which is definitely

Beets, peppers, tomatoes, onions, baby carrots, cabbage

Even if you don’t eat them, they should still be there. You will see how useful they will be when you are cooking


This product is a substitute for everything. It can be eaten together with cereals, and instead of vegetables, and instead of meat.

Roasted, boiled, steamed, stewed, baked potato deserves respect.

Fresh fruit

Fruits can be useful for snacks or energy boosts when needed.

Common foods to watch out for

For college students to eat properly, he or she should be mindful of junk food such as:

Fried foods

The less fried, the better. You can use a grill instead of a speedboat so that the fat drips onto the coals.

Too much salt and frequent use of salt

It is worth limiting canned foods, sausages, and other processed foods.

Food cooked in a deep fryer

Fries won’t bring you many health benefits, so try to reduce them in your nutrition.

Excessive eating of pastries

These are easy to eat too much so just be gently aware of your eating habits.

Fast food

Busy students often eat easy fast food but this might cause digestive issues.

Grocery shopping

Here’s the products list that will be useful when you go shopping
  • Butter
  • Milk / Vegetable milk
  • Eggs / Egg Substitutes
  • Cheese – mozzarella, cheddar, grilled cheese or any other your favourite
  • Fruit/vegetables (apples or apple slices, bananas, tomatoes, green salad, frozen broccoli, etc.)
  • Condiments (choose only your favorite, most commonly used)
  • Tomato paste, mustard, barbecue sauce, etc.
  • Meatloaf /bacon / roast beef / grilled or fried chicken
  • Yogurt
  • Pickles, olives
  • Bread
  • Flour
  • Oils – Extra Virgin / Coconut oil / Sunflower oil, etc.
  • Honey / Peanut Butter / Almond Butter
  • Whole-grain porridge / instant oatmeal (reduced sugar content), oatmeal, overnight oats, etc.
  • Trail mix/ Raisins and nuts – cashews, peanuts, chia seeds, dried fruit, etc

Here is my other post on healthy foods, read for more tips on great foods to eat.

Healthy nutrition makes you more productive for studying and less prone to colds. It is important to remember these wellness tips do not imply strictness and monotony in eating. It just helps to maintain full health and energy throughout the day and for many years to come.

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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