Excelling in school requires the proper fuel to keep you focused and energized even when you’re clocking long hours studying and working on projects. Unfortunately, a lot of popular snack foods students reach for may do more harm than good in the long run. Many packaged items sold in vending machines and convenience stores can be packed with more calories, sugar, and salt than needed without much to offer in the way of actual nourishment.
Eating well doesn’t have to be super-expensive or hard to pull off, though. Here are a few easy-to-find foods to keep you at the top of your game.
Fruit: Fresh fruit like apples, oranges, and banana travel well and can pick you up in the middle of a study session. The fiber keeps you full.
Nuts: The combination of protein, fat, and carbs will keep you charged for hours. Stick to about ¼ cup. For on-the-go snacking, you can put a serving into a Ziploc a tablespoon of your favorite dried fruit for a homemade trail mix.
Hard-Boiled Eggs: The protein and fat in eggs will keep you satisfied and focused. An added bonus: instant portion control. Two will set you back only about 150 calories while providing 10 grams of protein.
Cheese: Another great source of protein, string cheese, cheese sticks, and single-serve pieces can be purchased inexpensively. You can also slice up a block of your favorite cheese into cubes and divide amongst several containers to take with you. A serving is about 1 ounce of hard cheese, which is about the same as your index finger or a tube of lipstick.
Yogurt: Yogurt is packed with protein. To prevent a blood sugar spike and crash, look for plain and add your own flavor with cinnamon, fruit, or a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.
Also, remember to drink plenty of water while studying. Even mild dehydration can make you feel sluggish and mistake thirst for hunger.
—Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian in New York City. http://jessicacordingnutrition.com/website/