It’s 10:30 a.m. and you’re starving. You only have 15 minutes to get to class and get a snack.

So, what are the choices? You could choose something from a vending machine, soda machine, some fast food or the convenience store. But wait! There’s another choice: your food stash.

Although some choices from vending machines or at the convenience store may be nutritious, there is a limited selection. Give yourself more possibilities by carrying food with you on campus. You can substantially improve your nutrition and avoid unnecessary calories just by packing a few tasty, healthy treats.

Ideally, you should carry your ‘stash’ in a small, insulated food bag with an ice pack. Or simply toss some non-refrigerated snacks into your book bag before heading out the door. And, don’t forget the water bottle!

You can, of course, pack a whole meal, but at least carry some of these healthier choices:

high fiber cereals to snack on straight from a zip lock bag

whole grain crackers

yogurt, 1 percent fat or fat-free

fresh fruit, washed and ready to eat (sliced and cut, if necessary)

raisins, dried fruits, especially apricots

peanut butter sandwich or with crackers

baby carrots, sliced cukes and green/red peppers with low fat Ranch dressing (or other dressing) for dip

calcium fortified cheese sticks

nuts, honey roasted peanuts

soy nuts (great with yogurt; lower in calories than peanuts)

trail mix (make your own by mixing together: nuts or soy nuts, raisins and/or other chopped dried fruits, granola, low-sugar cereals, and even some M&Ms or chocolate chips)

nutrition bars with 200 calories or less and no more than 30 grams carbohydrates per serving

canned nutrition beverages (same guidelines as for the bars)

To make your food stash easier to carry and eat, invest in these supplies:

plastic spoons & forks; napkins

zip lock bags (snack and sandwich size)

2 very small plastic containers (to carry dips and sauces)

2 medium containers to hold more delicate foods that won’t do well in a zip lock

water bottle

small, insulated lunch bag and ice pack

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