Written by Sharon Charles BSc Nutrition (Candidate)
Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD
Health is truly wealth and it is something that students need to keep top of mind. Regardless of how hectic a schedule can get, overlooking one’s health can result in negative consequences that may directly affect academic performance! Without adequate nutrition, students often feel tired, sluggish and have difficulty concentrating on schoolwork. We often look to external factors, when evaluating health and academic performance. We suggest, before blaming the workload, sleep, or other factors- evaluate your nutrition. Remember- food is medicine! And meal planning is key!
Meal planning is not only a perfect way to ensure that you nourish your body with the proper foods but it can also help to ensure that you don’t scarf down the first thing in front of you when hunger strikes (think chips, cookies, that slice of pizza).
As a busy student myself, I have first-hand knowledge of how it feels to have minimal free time. I can attest to the fact that I was once that person who would reach for that cookie in the jar and be on my way. But times have changed! I decided to get a grip on my life and to feed my body with the nutrition it needs. Gone are the days when each meal time resulted in me staring blankly into the fridge with no clue what to eat, only to resort to choosing a processed or packaged food, in an effort to get a quick meal.
Here are my tips to help you get a grip on your nutrition and leave time for homework and fun!
Before Your Trip to the Grocery Store:
First- get expert advice from a Dietitian to ensure you are receiving the nutrition you require to be healthy. Be sure to check out our Meal Planning tab for more information on the benefits of meal planning here. Click on the link below to get a printable tool to help you organize your ideas for meals. Put your printer to good use!
Here are some tips to get you started:
Start by pulling together some ideas of meals that are healthy by doing some research on the internet or jotting down ideas that you are familiar with.
Let’s Get Organized! Make a list.
As a busy student on the go, you may find it helpful to have an idea of your upcoming meals so you can buy the appropriate ingredients at the grocery store. It can be intimidating and quite overwhelming to walk in to the grocery store with no clue on what to buy, only to go home and realize that you are either missing ingredients or food items that you could have used for a recipe.
Being a student probably means you are on a tight budget. Before you even leave on your grocery trip, find the flyer for your favourite grocery store. Make a grocery list. A great resource is an app called “Flipp” which can be downloaded to your phone so that you can easily view what each grocery store in your area has to offer, with the items on sale and available coupons.
Also find out if the grocery store offers a student discount – which most do!
To help you out on your endeavors, I have created a simple printable meal planner to quickly scratch down some ideas for the week.
Having a game plan of what you will be eating, can help you stay on track and nourish your body. By realizing the potential and the true importance of food on your health, you will be less likely to give in to that cheesy slice of pizza begging you to devour it in the cafeteria.
Healthier eating means a healthy you!