9 Healthy Snacks for College Students

Ginger Abbot

Sep 7, 2022
Healthy Snacks for College Students

We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.

College life means pulling the occasional all-night study session — and they take energy. To fuel yourself before exams, you’ll need to stockpile your dorm room with healthy snacks for college students. 

What you choose can make a significant difference in your overall health. It might even help you earn a better grade. Here are nine great snacks for college kids that provide the nutrition you need to perform at your best.

1. Nuts

Nuts are the ultimate snack for college students for many reasons. They’re an outstanding source of plant-based protein. If you’re trying on a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, they’re one way to meet your need for this macronutrient. 

Furthermore, these snacks contain high levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, vital minerals for neurological health. They promote brain power and may help stave off seasonal depression, especially in students from warmer climates who find themselves floundering in the great white north. In one study published by the National Institutes of Health, magnesium outperformed a tricyclic antidepressant in terms of relief. 

2. Sprouted Snacks

You might have seen sprouted crackers and granola bars at health food stores. Are these foods truly superior when it comes to nutrition? Yes — and here’s the science behind why. 

Sprouting helps eliminate some of the starch that can inhibit the absorption of various nutrients. Additionally, it breaks down phytate, which converts to phytic acid and prevents your body from getting the full benefit of various vitamins and minerals. 

3. Edamame

Edamame is a fancy word for whole, immature soybeans. You can buy it still encased in the pods — which you discard — or shelled and ready to pop in your mouth. 

This snack is another excellent source of plant-based protein if you’re among the vegetarian or vegan set. Soy also contains natural phytoestrogens. Adding these to your diets may help you balance hormonal issues if you’re female. 

4. Crudites

Fresh or cooked fruits and vegetables should make up 50% of your diet, according to the MyPlate guidelines. Many Americans don’t get anywhere near enough. You can increase your intake by snacking on crudites. 

Please don’t think that you have to splurge on the precut bagged veggies at the store. It’s a cinch to break up a head of cauliflower — you don’t even need a knife. Better yet, stock up at the farmer’s market for fresher, organic fare for pennies on the dollar. 

5. Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit is an antioxidant powerhouse. Citrus fruits like oranges provide a hefty dose of vitamin C. Berries instantly elevate a smoothie and come packed with anthocyanins to improve your overall health. 

For maximum results, select fruits in various colors. According to Dr. Deanna Minich, author of “The Rainbow Diet,” each hue refers to a different phytonutrient profile, and mixing it up gets you everything you need for total well-being. 

6. String Cheese

String cheese is a fantastic source of calcium and relatively low in calories for all the nutrition it delivers. Plus, it’s surprisingly versatile. It’s mozzarella, after all. If you run out of shreds, you can use it to top an English muffin pizza in a pinch. 

You can find low fat string cheese. However, even the full-fat version weighs in at only 80 calories per stick, making it a smart snack if you’re watching your intake. 

7. Jerky

If you’re among the carnivorous set, jerky offers one of the lowest calorie protein sources you can find. You’ll get all the amino acids you need for total health. It’s no surprise that this snack is a favorite among weightlifters and other power athletes. 

Beef is the apparent choice, but you have other options. It’s not unusual to find bacon, buffalo, turkey and chicken jerky. Please don’t feel left out if you’re a vegan — surprisingly enough, you can find a cruelty-free version of this popular snack. 

8. Yogurt

Your intestinal microbiota refers to the colonies of beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion. Researchers now recognize that they also play crucial roles in everything from your immune response to mood. 

Yogurt contains live probiotics to restore your natural supply. It’s a particularly beneficial snack if you’ve recently taken a course of antibiotics that can deplete your stores. It’s also a fantastic source of meat-free protein, and you can find dairy-free versions.

9. Hummus

Hummus is an outstanding dip choice. You’ll get plenty of plant-based protein from chickpeas to keep you feeling full until your next meal. 

You can also use this spread to add protein and flavor to sandwiches and wraps. If making homemade, include plenty of red bell pepper — each fruit contains more vitamin C than an orange. 

Healthy Snacks for College Students 

College life means long days and busy nights of hitting the books. You need energy to get through your study sessions, and the dining hall isn’t open 24/7. Stock your dorm with some of these healthy snacks for college students and enjoy a well-nourished semester.

Written By