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Healthy Eating for University and College Students

Many students attending college or university will be responsible for buying and making their own food for the first time. Living away from home often results in changes in eating habits. Some of these changes are not always ideal. Given the new responsibilities that students have, it can sometimes be difficult to avoid skipping meals and eating out at fast food restaurants more often. Making healthy eating choices is important. It can help you feel better and give you more energy.


Tips for Healthy Eating

  • Start your day right with breakfast.

    Breakfast gives you the energy you need to perform during the day. It has also been linked to better performance in school.1
  • Eat regular meals and snacks.

    Skipping meals can cause you to eat more at the next meal or snack and choose less healthy options.
  • Make smart drink choices.

    Choose plain water most often. Other healthy options are white milk, unsweetened fortified soy beverage or unsweetened fortified plant-based beverages (e.g., almond, oat). If planning your drink as a protein source, reach for white milk or fortified soy beverage. Other plant-based beverages (e.g., pea, almond, etc.) are good to quench your thirst, but don’t provide a lot of protein.
Healthy Eating
  • Choose healthier snacks.

    Snacks like vegetables and fruits, plain yogurt, air-popped popcorn, cheese, and nuts give you lots of nutrients and help you feel full until your next meal.
  • Be aware of portion distortion.

    Supersizing your meal may seem like a good deal, but the oversized portion sizes often give you more energy than your body needs.
  • Make smart choices when eating out.

    If you are eating out, choose foods that are grilled, baked or steamed. Avoid foods that are deep fried, or foods with gravies or sauces. Skip the pop and go for a plain water or white milk!
Date of creation: January 1, 2014
Last modified on: October 23, 2019


1Kothe, E., Mullan, B. (2011). Increasing the frequency of breakfast consumption. British Food Journal, 113(6), 784-796.