FROM READERS: Grocery shopping tips for college students

Friday, August 24, 2012 | 12:00 p.m. CDT

Heidi Williams and Cindy Foley are registered dieticians with MU's Wellness Resource Center. This story was originally posted on "Off-Campus Living," a website maintained by the center.

Being prepared when you are always on the run and away from home is important. Keeping portable snacks with you at all times is an easy way to be prepared when hunger strikes!

Some ideas for portable snacks to keep on hand include: dried fruit, trail mix, peanut butter and jelly, bagel with cream cheese, dry cereal, pretzels, animal crackers, fresh fruit, whole grain cereals, cheese and crackers, whole grain crackers, yogurt, nuts & seeds, granola bars, deli sandwich, baby carrots, fig Newtons, energy bars, low-fat muffins, left-overs.

Keeping your kitchen stocked with a few essential foods makes it easy to quickly prepare nutritious meals instead of relying on fast food or other unhealthy meal options. Here are some good items to always keep on hand helping you to build a power pantry:

 In your pantry

  • Almonds, walnuts, other nuts and seeds (unsalted)
  • Peanut butter (natural)
  • Baked potato chips
  • Bran flakes
  • Brown rice
  • Canned beans
  • Dates
  • Low-fat balsamic vinaigrette
  • Oatmeal (preferably Rolled or Steel Cut)
  • Olive oil
  • Polenta
  • Quinoa
  • Rye crisp bread crackers
  • Tortilla chips
  • Vinegar
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Whole-grain pasta

In your refrigerator 

  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Low-fat milk
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Olives
  • Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
  • Salmon
  • Tortillas
  • Yogurt (preferably low-fat Greek)

In your freezer

  • Frozen meat
  • Frozen veggies
  • Veggie burgers
  • Frozen meals 

 On your countertop 

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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