18 Healthy Snacks for College Students | BestColleges

18 Healthy Snacks for College Students

When choosing snacks in between meals, consider your choices, consult this list of healthy snack options, and don’t be afraid to try something new.

  • Healthy snacking involves making conscious choices to eat nutritious foods between meals.
  • Understanding why you should develop healthy snacking habits is important.
  • To keep yourself on track, grab healthy snacks such as vegetables and grains.

Many people think of making healthy choices when it comes to mealtime but often forget about the calories they consume between meals. Grabbing snacks here or there throughout the day can rack up a lot of calories.

A 2015 study found that 60% of students gain weight their first year of college. One way to avoid gaining weight in college is to make better choices when snacking. Selecting healthier snacks can also boost energy and power you up for a study session.

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What Is Healthy Snacking?

Healthy snacking is consciously deciding to consume healthier options between meals. Although hunger can be one motivator for snacking, other factors, like your social environment and easy access to food, can contribute to the desire to snack as well.

This is why it’s important to choose the right snacks. Eating nutritious snacks in college can help keep your daily caloric intake within a healthy range. And by purposefully consuming nutrient-dense foods, you can boost your energy levels.

Many people talk about meal planning for the week but often don’t think about snack planning.

18 Healthy Snacks for College Students

The best way to create good healthy snacking habits is by planning and staying consistent. To do this, focus on six specific categories. With a rotation of vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, nuts, and, yes, even sweets, you can set yourself up for success.

1. Vegetables

  • Beet Chips: Tangy and crunchy, dehydrated beets are full of nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, and folate. They also help regulate blood pressure, fight inflammation, and improve athletic performance.
  • Roasted Seaweed: Packed with vitamins K and B, as well as zinc and iron, these delicious and lightly salted strips are one of the best sources of iodine. Seaweed can help support thyroid health, too.
  • Seasoned Edamame: This snack is a great source of soy protein and is also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin K. Seasoned with salt or spices, edamame can give you a great energy boost.

2. Fruit

  • Zero-Added Sugar Dried Fruit: Sweet and nutritious, this on-the-go snack comes in a variety of options, from mangos to peaches and dates. In addition to being a great source of fiber, micronutrients, and antioxidants, dried fruit can satisfy any sweet tooth.
  • Apples and Peanut Butter: Snacking on this salty-sweet combo can provide you with an energy boost due to its rich protein and fiber content.
  • Smoothie: Cold and creamy, this sweet snack is often either fruit juice or dairy based. Depending on its composition, a smoothie can contain much-needed vitamins, fiber, and protein to keep you going.

3. Grains

  • Whole-Grain Crackers: These crunchy bites are a great chip substitute. The fiber in the crackers can help keep you regular and provide an extra source of protein.
  • Light Popcorn: Lightly salted and buttered air-popped popcorn can hit the spot while providing your body with some much-needed fiber.
  • Granola: Coarse yet crunchy, the mixture of rolled oats, brown sugar, raisins, and nuts are an excellent source of protein and important micronutrients, such as zinc, vitamin B, and iron.

4. Dairy

  • Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is a creamy cheese curd with a mild flavor. You can pair it with fresh fruit, such as peaches, bananas, or strawberries. It’s also a good source of calcium, protein, vitamin B12, and riboflavin.
  • Cheese Crisps: You can eat these oven-baked cheese crisps alone or paired with a healthy spread like hummus. This dairy-based snack has both calcium and protein.
  • Greek Yogurt: A creamy, protein-packed snack, this low-sugar treat can easily double as a dessert while helping you get your daily dose of calcium and good fat. Greek yogurt offers probiotics as well, which are beneficial for gut health.

5. Nuts

  • Spiced Almonds: A nutritious and filling snack, almonds offer many health benefits. In addition to being full of dietary fiber, almonds are rich in vitamin E and magnesium.
  • Trail Mix: Another great salty and sweet combo often with nuts, seeds, granola, fruit, and chocolate, trail mix contains several high-protein ingredients that help sustain energy. The dried fruit is a great source of fiber and micronutrients.
  • Nut and Fruit Bars: Made with various nuts and fruits, these portable bars can satiate hunger due to their high protein content. The bits of fruit can also help curb sweet cravings while providing fiber.

6. Sweets

  • Dark Chocolate: This sweet treat is a great source of antioxidants, as well as magnesium, iron, and copper. Dark chocolate may also help reduce inflammation and improve blood flow.
  • Low-Sugar Cookies: By eating a serving of low-sugar cookies, you can still indulge without consuming too many calories. Choosing options like oatmeal raisin can also add some fiber to your diet.
  • Frozen Yogurt or Fruit Popsicles: Frozen yogurt is a great way to get calcium while limiting the heavy sugars often found in ice cream. Popsicles made of fruit puree can also be healthier options.