College Food AlternativesBrian Neville
If you didn’t eat Ramen noodles in college we’re happy for you. Unfortunately, some of us did. Also unfortunately, we’ve learned that Ramen noodles and fast food are still staples of dorm room living. In fact, forty-four percent of college students eat fast food at least once a week, despite growing evidence that it’s a habit we all really need to break.
Still, fast food is cheap, it tastes good, it’s accessible and, well… it’s fast. With these perks, it makes sense that kids can be tempted to trade a little health (hey, it’s only one meal, right?) for time and money.
Except, you can’t live like that. Well, you can – but you can’t function well like that. People who skip meals or eat unbalanced meals experience a 25% drop in productivity. Add that to the inevitable sleep deprivation and you’ve got a college student operating at half-capacity.
The reality is that most college kids are low on cash, are busy, and aren’t going to spend a lot of time considering nutrition. With that, we’re going to let college students (and their parents) in on a little secret that hikers, climbers and outdoors people have known for years. You can have tastier food that’s faster and cheaper and healthier than anything you can get in a drive through or in a noodle packet. Our gourmet freeze-dried meals cost about $2.25 each (that’s two servings), are ready in 12-minutes, are very tasty, have good nutrition, and don’t require you to choose between health, time or money.
Here are some tips for creating a small dorm-room “pantry” of fast and healthy meals that don’t require refrigeration, won’t add to the dreaded Freshman Fifteen, and will beat a diet of noodles any day:
- Wise freeze dried entrees (two to four servings per packet)
- Small pop-top cans of fruit, or our freeze-dried fruit packages
- Cans of 100% vegetable juice such as V8 or fruit juices
- Walnuts for critical Omega-3
- Apples for antioxidants
- 75% dark chocolate cacao bars (it’s brain food, we promise!)
- Small coffee maker to make hot water to rehydrate food, as well as to make tea or coffee
January may mean back to school but it doesn’t have to mean another semester of bad food.