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Navigating Back to College: Affordable and Healthy Eating Habits for Students

Bonji Foods Aficionado Smart Brief: Volume 79

Hi all, welcome back to the Bonji Food Aficionado Smart Brief! We hope you had a great weekend and are ready for another great week ahead. It's that time of year again... with Summer's peak behind us, schools are starting back up; specifically, colleges. Although we generally write with restaurant owners in mind, today we shift our focus just a bit - but restauranteurs can still learn much from this blog! Back to school calls for many changes, but one in particular that doesn't get as much attention as it should is eating habits. Eating in college was a pain for me and I imagine it can be just as rough for many, many others. Thus, we hope to provide some helpful insight into strategies you may use to both keep costs low, while maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.

Students enjoying Bonji Acai from 3 gallon tubs

It's Time For Back To College Eating Habits To Begin

Heading back to college is an exciting chapter filled with new experiences and challenges. Among these challenges, maintaining healthy eating habits can often take a backseat. The infamous "college diet" doesn't have to mean late-night fast food runs and unhealthy snacks. In this blog, we're here to guide you through the transition with valuable tips for affordable and nutritious eating that will fuel your academic journey. In addition to these tips for students or parents, restaurants can play a vital role in providing healthier and affordable dining options for college students. By offering menu items that prioritize nutrient-rich ingredients and balanced choices, restaurants can support students' well-being and academic performance. Embracing budget-friendly specials, portion-conscious meals, and customizable options empowers students to make wholesome choices without compromising their finances. Moreover, creating partnerships with nearby colleges or universities can foster a sense of community and cater to the specific needs of student customers. Through these efforts, restaurants can contribute to a positive campus experience by offering students convenient and nourishing meals that align with their health and budget goals. Plan and Prep Ahead: Planning and meal prepping can be your best friends in college. Dedicate some time each week to plan your meals, create a shopping list, and prepare ingredients or even full meals in advance. Having healthy options readily available reduces the temptation to resort to less nutritious choices during busy days. Embrace Budget-Friendly Staples: Healthy eating doesn't have to break the bank. Stock up on affordable staples like oats, rice, beans, lentils, eggs, canned tuna, frozen vegetables, and whole wheat pasta. These items offer a solid nutritional foundation for a variety of meals and are easy on your wallet. Shop Smart: When grocery shopping, stick to your list and avoid impulsive purchases. Choose store brands and opt for sales and discounts whenever possible. Buying in bulk can also be cost-effective for non-perishable items like grains and snacks. Additionally, when eating out, try to avoid costly delivery fees and items that you can easily make for much cheaper at home. In other words, save the eating out for special occasions or for options that are best made by chefs. Although, affordable restaurants do exist and want to help! Mindful Snacking: Snacking can quickly derail healthy eating efforts. Instead of reaching for chips and sugary snacks, opt for nutrient-dense options like yogurt, nuts, fruits, and cut-up vegetables. These snacks provide sustained energy and keep you focused during study sessions. Make Use of Campus Resources: Many college campuses have dining halls or food programs that offer a variety of meal options. Take advantage of these resources, but choose wisely. Opt for lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables whenever possible. Hydration Matters: Staying hydrated is essential for both your health and your focus. Invest in a reusable water bottle and keep it filled throughout the day. Water is not only the best thirst quencher but also helps curb unnecessary snacking. Balance is Key: It's okay to enjoy treats occasionally. Balancing your diet with the occasional indulgence keeps you satisfied and prevents feelings of deprivation. Just remember, moderation is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Listen to Your Body: Above all, listen to your body's cues. Pay attention to hunger and fullness signals, and adjust your portions accordingly. Eating in response to your body's needs, rather than external cues, fosters a healthy relationship with food. As you embark on your college journey, adopting affordable and healthy eating habits can be a game-changer for your overall well-being. With planning, smart shopping, mindful choices, and a touch of creativity, you can enjoy nutritious meals that support your academic success without breaking the bank. Lastly, we can't help but mention that Bonji Foods's Acai and other smoothie bowl bases are the perfect addition to a college's dining hall or just a student's diet! Our 3-gallon tubs are starting to make their way to college campuses, but we think many more have yet to come so let us know if you want Bonji Acai at your school! At Bonji Foods, we're here to cheer you on as you prioritize your health and happiness, one delicious and nourishing bite at a time.


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