One of my favorite parts of elementary school was the lunches my mom would pack. I also loved not having to spend my money on food. Fast forward to the present and my mom's not packing my lunches and I'm giving all of my dollars to vending machines and quick meals to make it through my long days on campus. I decided I didn't have to be broke or hungry.

So, here are five simple ways you can pack food for your busy days. Remember, plastic sandwich bags and Tupperware are your new best friends.

Lunch Choices

1. Quinoa, Turkey, and Avocado

avocado, vegetable, sweet, guacamole
Jessica Kelly

Be generous with seasoning if the grain makes you yawn. Couple it with sliced turkey and half an avocado (leave the pit in for longer freshness.) This mash up stored in Tupperware makes for a balanced and quick lunch.

2. Pasta Salad

pasta, spaghetti, vegetable, macaroni, basil
Katherine Richter

Easy to make in bulk, lasts throughout the week, and won't go bad during a long day of running around. Here is a yummy recipe for healthy home made pasta salad.

3. Shredded Chicken, Hard-Boiled Egg, and Edamame 

vegetable, pea, legume, pasture
Elyse Belarge
Trader Joe's sells this, which takes no time to throw in a to-go bag.

4. Hummus Wrap

Spinach wraps lathered in hummus can be the foundation for a beautiful and nutritious sandwich alternative. Load it full of your favorite veggies, sprouts, and peppers.

5. Toasted Peanut Butter and Jelly

meat, sweet
Tarika Narain

Taking back to the basics... with an added crunch. Toast your bread, spread some PB&J, and wrap in foil.

Snack Choices

1. Cliff Bars

Emily Waples

So many flavors, so little trouble.

2. Almonds, Cranberries, and Dried Fruit Mix

nut, almond, cranberry, raisin
Tiare Brown

Feel free to add dark chocolate chunks or coconut flakes to make your sweet tooth happy.

3. Justin's Almond Butter Packets and a Banana

One of my personal favorites for a mid-day snack break. Justin's Almond Butter Packets can be ordered in bulk online or found in stores.

4. Sabra Hummus Cups

IMG_8968 2

dinacolunga on Flickr

Modern day portable chips n' dip... what more could you ask for?

5. Grapes 

Sounds simple but these bad boys are refreshing and convenient to snack on throughout the day.


dinacolunga on Flickr

College doesn't have to mean a coffee exclusive diet or fast food binges. At the same time, eating healthy doesn't have to mean overpriced goods and tediously long meal prep times. There's a balance to everything, I'm learning.

Fight well and fight on!