Healthy Eating For Students

Although you may be eating on a budget as a student, this doesn’t mean you have to eat a poor diet.

If you don’t eat properly, you can become under or overwieght.

It can also lead to illnesses due to a weakened immune system, a less healthy appearance and reduced mental ability, such as not being able to concentrate.

Consuming the correct types of food and getting the right nutrients needed for your body is essential for a healthy lifestyle.

You will make things easier for yourself in the long term if you make sure you eat well, rather than eat poorly and deal with weight problems or being ill.

You may think it’s expensive to eat well, but it’s actually cheaper.

All those low-fat, low-sugar and high fibre products in the supermarket with a good nutrient content will cost you less than those sugary, fatty processed foods with lots of calories and few nutrients.

Student Nutrition: Don't forget your 5 a day

Try to eat five portions of grain and cereal, such as bread, breakfast cereal, rice and pasta, every day.

Beans, lentils, soy, peas and nuts are all good sources of protein and fibre, as are eggs, fish and poultry.

Also make sure to eat lots of fruit and vegetables (ideally 5 portions of a mixture of both), and when it comes to dairy products, try to buy semi-skimmed milk and low fat youghurts and cheeses to help you stay healthy.

Try to avoid too much margerine and butter in your sandwiches, too!

Overdosing on caffeine will not benefit you, so try to limit your cups of coffee to 2 or 3 a day.

Essential food staples

It’s a good idea to keep a stock of food staples in your cupboard so you always have something to cook with your fresh items (i.e. meat and vegetables) in order to make a proper meal.

It also means you can still prepare yourself some dinner if you've run out of fresh ingredients, so you don't have to rely on having meat and veg in stock all the time.

You should also keep other frequently used items topped up, such as coffee, teabags and sauces, in case you run out and can’t get to the shops or don’t have enough money.

Here are a list of items we recommend you make sure you have enough of in your stores:

  • teabags
  • coffee
  • sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • vinegar
  • ketchup/brown sauce
  • mustard
  • soy sauce
  • multipacks of crisps (for lunches)
  • dried pasta/noodles
  • jam/marmalade/honey/Marmite
  • tinned soup
  • tinned chopped tomatoes
  • baked beans
  • tinned tuna
  • rice
  • tinned peas
  • tinned sweet corn
  • tinned fruit
  • long life milk
  • vegetable/olive oil
  • mixed herbs, spices and seasonings
  • potatoes
  • onions
  • garlic
  • biscuits/chocolate bars
  • boxes of cakes (e.g. Mr Kipling)

Frozen and refrigerated items

  • butter/margarine/cheese spread
  • cheese
  • eggs
  • milk
  • yoghurt
  • frozen mixed vegetables
  • frozen chicken breasts
  • frozen loaf of bread
  • frozen pizza

This is not an exhuastive list, and by all means, you don't have to have all these items in the kitchen - just some of them will do, so long as you can enjoy hearty meals each day.

Further information

For more tips and advice on student cooking, please see: