By Amanda Arnold
The bikinis have already been on display for weeks, the sunshine is already here with full intensity, and it’s time to make some changes for the upcoming spring and summer months.
After three years as a student at UNK, I would like to say I’ve mastered the ins and outs of college dining. It seemed so easy to make healthy meal choices when I lived on campus because everything was readily available—it wasn’t any more difficult to grab a yummy salad than it was to pick up a greasy burger. After living off campus for two years, I’ve come to realize that it’s actually not as easy when I have to plan my meals on my own. Ramen and Little Caesars became my go-to meals, but with the warm seasons coming, it’s time for a change.
While nothing can beat the price of Ramen noodles, the amount of sodium in one serving is ridiculous. Aside from that, one serving is actually only supposed to be half of the package. I’ve gathered some healthy eating tips for students on a budget so hopefully others can join me on my mission to eat well without breaking the bank.
1. Switch to water. Instead of drinking soda or other caffeinated drinks, switch to drinking water instead. It’s a much cheaper and healthier route, especially if you choose to skip bottled water and drink tap water.
2. Buy less lean meat. Meat with fat isn’t as unhealthy as it’s perceived, and for those trying to slim down, it’s good to understand that fat doesn’t make you fat, excess calories do. So it’s fine to choose meat with a higher fat content—it’s much cheaper, and it’s also healthy.
3. Buy frozen veggies. Though it seems healthier to buy your fruits and vegetables fresh, it can often be expensive and a lot of it goes to waste because it is difficult to preserve. Frozen fruits and veggies are a great choice because leftovers can be saved, leaving nothing wasted.
4. Invest in a multivitamin. This one is a big help to fill nutrient gaps students miss each day. In order to get your daily value of vitamins, you’d have to buy a ridiculous amount of groceries and measure and prepare all day. Save yourself time and money by taking the easy way out; there are even gummy multivitamins for adults.
5. Make your lunch at home. It’s easy to opt for the quick and easy meal at work or between classes, but eating out adds up. By making your lunch ahead of time, you may have to get up 15 minutes earlier, but you’ll be saving precious money each week.
10 Healthy Snack Ideas
1. Frozen grapes
2. String cheese
3. Apple slices with peanut butter
5. Sunflower seeds
6. Animal crackers
7. Peaches and cottage cheese
8. Raw veggies with guacamole
9. Hard-boiled egg
10. Frozen yogurt
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