Going to university can be exciting, daunting and a bit challenging for both the student and the parents!!!
For many it’s the first time living away from home and being totally responsible for their own wellbeing, including taking control of what they eat. Whilst fast food, snacking and no one telling them to eat their vegetables may be appealing for a short time in the long term it’s essential to eat well so that the body and mind can work optimally and they can make the most of their university life.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet it helps everyone to stay healthy.
- increased energy and stamina
- improved sleep and concentration
- a positive impact on mood and wellbeing
- helps maintain a healthy body weight
- lowers risk of developing chronic health risks such as heart disease and cancer.
Here are our top ten tips:
1. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner
Eating three regular meals a day will help you meet your nutrition needs. Skipping meals means you will miss out on vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, which can leave you lacking energy or finding it hard to concentrate. Ensure to include some carbohydrates with each meal as these provide energy for the brain and , slow release versions like wholemeal and oats are great for this.Adding fruits and vegetables is also essential to ensure you are getting adequate nutrition. A great and convenient way of doing this is with a smoothie. Try our Breakfast booster:
You will need:
- 1 banana
- ½ avocado
- 2 kiwi fruit
- 1 sachet Britt’s Superfoods organic wheatgrass juice
- ½ cup almond milk
Peel the fruit and vegetables and mix all in a blender and enjoy a breakfast that will keep you full until lunch and the beauty is that you can add extra fruit and veggies depending on what you have.
Fluids are an important part of your diet. Drink water to keep hydrated, so you won’t feel so tired or thirsty. It can also help to prevent constipation. The amount of fluid you need depends on many things including the weather, how much physical activity you do and your age, but it is generally agreed that you need at least 6-8 glasses of fluid per day.
Alcoholic drinks have a diuretic effect, that is, the cause you to lose more water in urine, so drinking alcohol may lead to dehydration, if students are drinking it’s important to top up on the water!
3. Snack well
Snacking whilst studying is common but its very easy to snack on foods that provide little nutritional value. If you make sure that you always have healthy snacks to hand, this will help maintain mental clarity and manage calories. Some great snacks to consider are:
- Blueberries or small fruits
- Oat cakes
- Vegetable crudites
4. Prepare in advance
Having food that is healthy and pre made to hand is great to stop unhealthy eating. it can also be a good money saver as you can make food in larger quantities and save by buying in bulk. Things like
omelette muffins are great. You can add any leftover vegetable you have and they will keep in the fridge of up to a week and can be heated in the microwave whenever needed. Vegetable chilli is another great example of making ahead and reheating whenever needed as are meatballs and pasta source. Try our recipe for omelette muffins here:
You will need:
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk or vegan alternative
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup chopped peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
- 2 spring onions scallions
- 2 tomatoes chopped.
Mix altogether and bake in a non stick muffin pan for about 20 minutes.
5. Batch cook
Cooking ahead not only saves time but can also save money. Learning to use the same ingredients for many different dishes allows buying in larger quantities which is usually cheaper and means that you can pan healthy meals. Cooking from food that is in season is also most cost effective. When universities start many vegetables are in season. For example with Cauliflower, tomatoes, carrots, beetroot, onions and cabbage many different recipes can be made.
- Pasta sauce with tomatoes, onion grated carrot
- Autumn stew with chopped carrot, onion, cauliflower, vegetable stock and additional root vegetables
- Cauliflower cheese
- Vegetarian chilli
Making all of these dishes on a Sunday and keeping them in the fridge for the rest of the week will save both time and money.
6.Make healthy choices
When you eat meals or snacks think about the nutritional value of them, what are they doing for your body.
Previous studies in the UK and the US have shown that "fresher" students are at risk of weight gain, probably as a result of the lifestyle changes that come with starting university.
In the US, they talk of the "Freshmen 15", the 15lbs (6.8kg) that students put on. In the UK, research indicates the average student gains 7.7lbs (3.5kg).
By making food yourself you will avoid hidden nasties in processed foods and by choosing oven baked over fried and water over carbonated or energy drinks you will be well on the way to making healthy choices.
7.Be sensible with alcohol
Drink sensibly! Adults are recommended not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week (equivalent to 6 pints of 4% beer or 6 glasses of 13% wine), which should be spread across the week with several alcohol-free days, rather than the units being saved up for one occasion. 2 units in a pint of lower-strength beer (3-4% ABV)
Drinking more than the recommended amount can have adverse effects on your health. Having one or two heavy drinking sessions a week increases your risk of long-term illnesses (such as heart disease), accidents and injuries.
Make sure to drink water when you are consuming alcohol as this can help keep you hydrated and to keep an eye on you alcohol intake.
Ordering take outs and fast food will not only add to your waistsline but also deplete your budget fairly quickly. Most take aways can be emulated at home with just a few ingredients at a fraction of the cost.
Take away pizza = £10
Homemade with premade base= £4
Take away curry and rice = £12
Homemade = £4
Take away Chinese noodles = £8
Homemade = £2
Where you shop will also make a difference, local markets often sell fruit and vegetable cheaper at the end of the day and non pre-packed food can work out cheaper. Buying essentials with your room mates can also be cheaper as you can buy in larger quantities.
9.Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day
They are packed with nutrients and help to reduce your risk of developing certain health conditions. Try have 5 portions a day and your body will thank you for it!
10.Add a superfood juice to your diet
A simple way to ensure that you are receiving adequate nutrition is to add a superfood juice to your diet. Convenient single portion sachets are delivered frozen to your door and can be used every day in smoothies, juice or neat. Wheatgrass Juice contains high levels of Vitamins A, B5, B12 & E which help: Boost your energy levels
Reduce tiredness & fatigue ,Physical & mental performance, Support healthy digestion, Boost your immune system Healthy hair, skin & vision. To order your visit our shop today.