Let’s be honest—learning to balance school, work and personal life while maintaining good self care practices can be a struggle. Finding time to eat healthy meals as an on-campus student can be very tricky, especially for students without a meal plan. Here are a few tips to help you stay fueled:
1) Pre-made meals are your friend
Many grocery stores in our area offer a variety of ready-to-go, pre-made meals, like Trader Joe’s, Albertson’s, or Whole Foods. You can find a range of boxed salads, fresh reheatable meals, and even frozen meals that can last a little longer in your freezer. When it’s hard to find time to make a meal, these grab-and-go options are an easy way to get your nutrients.
2) When in doubt, grab a snack
With wayward class schedules, finding the time to eat three full meals a day can present another challenge. A good way to combat this is to carry around snacks as you go about your day. Protein bars, apples, and bananas are quick and easy options to pack with you. Convenience stores on campus, like the Fresh Express in the Student Union Building, offer a number of options for snacking on the go.
3) Keep your water bottle full
When you’re out and about all day, it’s easy to forget the simple things your body needs, including water! To stay hydrated, try to keep a water bottle with you at all times, just like your wallet or your keys. Make it a habit to fill up your bottle before your day begins. If you really struggle with drinking water, get a bottle that coaches you on how much you should be drinking throughout the day.
4) Eat your vegetables
Vegetables have a history of being the least favorite food group. But they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, so it’s important to integrate veggies into your diet. If you really dislike the taste, smoothies – like from Tree City in the SUB – can disguise the veggies with other delicious flavors. Otherwise, grab some mixed veggie packs at local groceries, or even smaller versions that you can carry around easily.
5) Plan meals in advance
If you know you have a busy week ahead, consider planning your meals in advance. This can leave you more time to focus on your to-do list and not stress about feeding yourself. An easy way to do this: make a few extra servings of a pasta salad or a vegetable and starch soup you can reheat the rest of the week.
5 ½) Visit the Campus Food Pantry
Boise State has a number of food-related resources if you find yourself in need. The Campus Food Pantry, located in the Campus School building, offers a range of food, non-perishable to refrigerated, along with personal hygiene supplies. All you need is your student ID.