Healthy Dorm Meal Ideas

Kaitlyn Czaplicki

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September 21, 2020
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During my freshman year of college at Penn State, I lived in the dorms and ate my meals in the dining hall just like every freshman on campus. I knew going into college that I couldn’t live off ramen noodles or the pasta bar in the dining hall. The dining hall had different options every day, some being healthy and other options being not so healthy. I got tired of eating the same foods every so often so I had to think of meals that I could make in my dorm room that were easy to make and nutritious. My dorm room came with a mini refrigerator and a microwave. On every break, before going back to school I tried to stock up on foods that I could keep in my dorm room that wouldn’t go bad fast. Things like crackers, nuts, pretzels, and granola are things that I always kept on hand in my dorm room. My dining hall also had a marketplace where I could go and buy fresh fruit, veggies, or other food necessities that I may need. All the meal and snacks suggestions are based on my personal preference and you can modify them based on your liking! Here are some of my favorite easy and healthy meals and snacks I ate when I was living in a dorm: 

  • BREAKFAST (The most important meal of the day and my favorite!!!)
    • Yogurt Parfait:
      • I usually ate this for breakfast or for a snack and it would always keep me full until I would get back from my classes. 
        • Vanilla Greek yogurt 
        • Fresh fruit (Usually Strawberries or Blueberries) 
        • Any kind of granola!
    • Oatmeal 
      • If you are one of those people that like to sleep as much as you can before class, you can make these overnight oats the night before so you can grab and go in the morning: 
        • 1 oatmeal packet (any flavor) 
        • Any type of milk 
        • 1 tbsp of peanut butter 
        • 1 cut up banana 
        • Optional: You can add any nut/seed!
    • Cereal
      • Super easy for busy mornings!!
        • Cheerios, Fiber One, Shredded Mini-Wheats, Kashi, etc 
        • Paired with any milk! (My favorite is almond milk!)
  • LUNCH
    • Rice Cake 2 different ways: Sometimes I would have one of each to satisfy my salty and sweet craving. 
      • Savory Way: 
        • Plain Rice Cake 
        • Smashed Avocado 
        • Everything but the bagel seasoning 
        • A little bit of hot sauce 
      • Sweet Way: 
        • Any Rice Cake Flavor 
        • Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
        • Sliced banana on top 
    • Hummus with Veggies and Pretzels and/or Pita Chips 
      • A few tbsps of any type of hummus
      • Carrots and Celery Sticks (You could also do sliced bell peppers or sliced cucumbers, this is just what I prefer!)
      • A handful of your favorite pretzel or pita chip
        • I always liked the flavored pita chips to add some flavor!
    • Whole Grain Crackers 
      • Pair with any of the following:
        • Tuna 
        • Smashed avocado 
        • Hummus
      • Can pair with any fruit or veggies on the side to make it more filling! 
  • DINNER 
    • Soup
      • Soup is so easy to make and great for a cold rainy day. My favorite is Amy’s Organic Soups! Just pop it in the microwave for a few minutes and it is good to go! Pair with whole grain crackers or add any grain like quinoa or brown rice to your soup!
    • Salad
      • Can keep fresh lettuce and veggies in your refrigerator. Can add any protein, toppings, or dressing. My favorite is:
        • Lettuce
        • Carrots
        • Cucumbers 
        • A tbsp of hummus 
        • A few croutons 
        • A tsp of olive oil 
    • Microwavable Quesadilla 
      • Whole-Grain quesadilla 
      • Any Cheese
      • Salsa
      • Optional: Add beans or a deli meat to your quesadilla!
  • SNACKS/DESSERTS
    • Sliced Apple with Peanut Butter or Almond Butter 
    • Popcorn 
    • Granola Bars or Protein Bars 
    • Trail Mix
    • Almonds 
    • Pretzels 
    • Dark Chocolate 

These easy and nutritious meal ideas and snacks can be made in the comfort of your dorm room and only require a mini fridge and microwave (things that most dorm rooms come with!).  

Kaitlyn Czaplicki

Kaitlyn Czaplicki

Hello! My name is Kaitlyn Czaplicki and I am an aspiring Registered Dietitian! I am a rising Junior at Pennsylvania State University, studying Nutritional Sciences in the Dietetics Option! In my free time, I enjoy baking new recipes, cooking yummy meals, and exercising!