College-Friendly n’ Healthy Snacks

by zesty on September 22, 2010 · 6 comments

Help The Students Event: Day 16

By: Amie Valpone, HHP, AADP Nutritionist and author of The Healthy Apple,

Heading off to college? Pack some of my portable snacks to keep your tummy satisfied whether you’re in class, studying in the library or trying to find healthy fare in the dining halls…these healthy nibbles are sure to keep your taste buds happy and your belly trim…just in time for College Back-to-School Life.   And be sure to try my 2 tasty no-cook recipes below, which are healthy, tasty and can be made right in your dorm room!

Get Smart n’ Get Snackin’ For the College Back-to-School Lifestyle

Be Mindful of Why You are Eating.

Are you stressed? Thirsty? Not eating enough? Ask yourself these questions before you dig in.  Be sure to keep healthy snack options in your office for a quick go-to when you’re in need of a quick fix.  When eating your meals, plate it, sit down and savor your food…chew each bite and relax.  Plating your food and sitting down will give you visual of how much you have consumed. Many of my clients eat breakfast standing up, lunch at their desks and dinner in front of the television, this will not only disrupt your digestion, but leaves you unsatisfied and yearning for more!

Portion Control

Know your weaknesses and your triggers.  If you’re known to eat a box of cereal or cookies in one sitting-reach for your Ziploc bags as soon as you purchase these foods and make yourself portion controlled snacks.  This way, when you are in the mood for cereal or cookies, you can easily reach for one bag, sit down, put it on a plate or in a bowl and enjoy your snack without mindlessly over-doing it.

Don’t Skip Meals

We all know the most important meal of the day is a hearty breakfast.  Be sure to follow up with a mid-morning snack, a filling lunch, an afternoon nibble and a nutritious dinner.  Do not skip meals; this will only set you up for failure.  Keep your blood sugar steady and your body and brain fueled by eating a 3 balanced meals with 2 snacks each day.  This may not work for everyone, many of my clients prefer to have 3 meals and a dessert or they have learned that eating mini-meals throughout the day works for them.  Whatever works for you is what you should stick to-we’re all different people with different needs, therefore the is no cookie cutter way of how many meals and snacks you should be eating each day.  Just be sure that you feel energized and satisfied; if you are hungry, reach for a smart, healthy option.

Decipher Between Snacks and Treats

Those ’100 calorie’ packs that you see in the food store are not snacks–they’re treats! Take a looksy at the nutrition facts and ingredients- you’ll be surprised by the amount of sugar and additives in each little pouch.  Instead of reaching for processed treats, opt for a more nutritious whole food option such as a whole grain cracker with cheese, a small Greek yogurt with apple slices or a banana with nut butter.

Don’t Wait Until Your Tummy is Rumblin’

I encourage my clients to eat every 3 to 5 hours.  If you let yourself go any longer, you can damage your day and set yourself up for an overeating fest.

Reach for Lean Protein, Good Fats, Fruits and Veggies

When you eat a snack of protein, healthy fat and produce you can achieve a satisfied feeling rather than reaching for a sugar-laden treat.  Try pairing nut butter atop celery, a few slices of cheese with an apple or a handful of pistachios and grapes.

Cook in Bulk for Easy Prep

Purchase store bought rotisserie chicken and you can easily toss it into your morning omelet, afternoon chicken salad sandwich and evening pasta dish.  On a Sunday evening, try to cook up a batch of inexpensive pantry staples such as potatoes, rice, pasta and beans.  Store leftovers in the fridge for the week in Tupperware containers, therefore when you are ready to eat, you can simply reach for these precooked foods and whip up a nutritious snack meal in no time.

Have Fun, Get Creative

Eating should not be a chore; take a look at my On-the-go-Snacks and More Snacks for healthy ideas between meals.  Don’t be afraid to try new things, instead of a peanut butter and jelly white bread sandwich, opt for a whole grain bread with all natural nut butter and jelly without added sugars.

Amie’s College-Friendly Recipes

Coconut Tempeh Bites


  • 1/3 block tempeh
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of chili powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F or if in dorm room, you can easily use your microwave.
  2. Slice tempeh into 1 inch sided cubes
  3. In a small bowl, combine coconut, agave nectar, cinnamon, sea salt and chili powder; mix to combine.
  4. Drench each ‘cube’ of tempeh into the coconut mixture to ensure complete coating.
  5. If using the microwave, place tempeh onto a microwave safe plate; cook on HIGH for 5-6 minutes or until desired texture.  If using an oven, place on a baking sheet; bake for 20-24 minutes or until tempeh bites start to brown.

No-Bake Honey Oat Bars


  • 1 cup Oats
  • 4 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1/2 cup Dried Cherries
  • A dash of Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. Ground Flax Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Slivered Almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. Cashew Butter (or any nut butter of choice)
  • Zest of 1 Orange


  1. Combine all above ingredients and mix well until it forms a sticky, firm consistency
  2. Mold mixture in a baking dish
  3. Refrigerate for 2 hours
  4. Cut into bar- like shapes and enjoy!

Zesty Tip: To store these bars, simply wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge.  These will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week.  For longer storage, you can freeze these bars for up to 3 months.

Amie, thanks for a very informative post to say the least.  Even though I am not in school anymore I can definitely learn from these tips and advice.  One thing I try to avoid is being hungry ( I think I have that tip ironed out).  Have a super Wednesday and we will talk tomorrow with another fun filled post “HELP THE STUDENTS” style.

Take care


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