Three tips for healthy student meals

Lifestyle Sports | Lifestyle UVic 101

Try these easy tips this semester

Graphic by Sie Douglas-Fish

Eating healthy as a student is almost an ironic statement. From studying late at night to attending lectures on campus all day, it’s hard to find time to eat healthily or even just eat a proper meal. 

I’m going to give you some tips that I’ve learned to use in the past to get through a busy week of school, work, and life. As a full-time student who works part-time, I know how difficult it can be to eat healthy throughout the week.

Here are three healthy eating tips that you can easily incorporate this semester.

Meal Prepping 

I find meal prepping helps me. Every week I take a look at my schedule and make a rough list of some meals I’d like to eat. When I have some free time, I’ll also prepare some quick meals in advance. 

Meal prepping doesn’t have to be elaborate. You also don’t have to prepare every meal.  For example, if you have a test or an exam in the upcoming week, make sure you have something easy like a salad or a sandwich prepped and ready to go for that day. 

One of my favourite sandwiches is a whole wheat ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato sandwich with mayonnaise on one side and mustard on the other. I also buy prepackaged salads to save time.

If you want to go out with friends one evening, make sure that’s in the meal planning too as that would cut down on meals you needed to prepare. You don’t even have to assign meals to certain days, your plan can just be what you would like to eat that week. It’s also good to be a little flexible as things can come up that might require changes on the fly. Especially as a busy student, things can change on a dime. Also sometimes it’s cheaper to go out as one person so don’t feel bad if you go out or order in every once in a while.

Take advantage of a good deal

Keep your eye on the flyers of local grocery stores for different sales. This can help cut costs and help you learn what is a good price for an item. The flyers can be found online on the retailer’s website and most flyers can also be found on apps like Flipp. This app alerts you of sales and can help you keep track of everything all in one spot. 

I’ve found some good deals at Walmart and Thrifty Foods. Thrifty’s has a whole hot or cold chicken that can be used for multiple meals and is relatively cheap.

Seeing what’s on sale can also help in meal planning as you can use what’s on sale to help you save money and time when preparing meals. 

Leftovers

Leftovers are such a time saver!  It’s super easy to reheat a meal from last night or use leftover or bulk ingredients to make something new. For example, you can use half an onion in a spaghetti sauce one night and then use the other half in a taco mix the next night.

Saved meals are great, too. Leftovers are especially wonderful on the night before a test or an exam when you don’t have time to cook and don’t have the money to order food. Sometimes leftovers even taste better the next day! Overall, using what you have to not waste food will save you money in the long run.

I hope these tips help you incorporate some healthy habits into your routines. At the end of the day, try not to stress too much about eating perfectly healthy all the time. It’s important to eat food to fuel your studies, and ordering Skip the Dishes once and a while is totally okay.