Living in a college dorm the size of a shoebox definitely makes healthy eating a challenge. From the constant late night leftover pizza to the frequent UberEats ice cream pints, it seems almost impossible to be a healthy eater in college. In an attempt to find staple dorm room essentials to promote healthy living, I asked college instagram bloggers @lattes_and_lemons and @bellaeatwards what five foods they always have on hand.


As a student at Wake Forest University, Sophia Franchi runs the popular instagram @lattes_and_lemons that promotes wellness, balance, and real food. From her creative meal ideas to delectable desserts, she offers simple ways to eat healthy in college.

1. Trader Joe's Almond Butter

almond butter, Nut butter, Trader Joe's, almonds
Julia Gilman

Sophia says, "Nut butter is definitely my guilty pleasure. While I'm usually pretty loyal to Trader Joe's unsalted creamy almond butter, I sometimes opt for their mixed nut butter and will throw this on oatmeal, chia seed pudding, apples, or even eat it by the spoonful."

2. Dairy-Free Yogurt

"I usually go with Kite Hill's unsweetened almond milk, Greek-style yogurt or Forager's unsweetened cashew milk yogurt. Yogurt bowls are lifesavers for when I'm short on time because they don't require a lot of effort to throw together. I'll top mine with berries, granola, coconut flakes or almond butter, and stir in lots of cinnamon or cacao powder. From baked pears to sweet potatoes, I'll eat dairy-free yogurt with anything." 

3. Matcha

Matcha is a green tea powder packed with antioxidants and rich in minerals. Since Sophia doesn't drink coffee, she relies on matcha lattes as her source of caffeine. She says, "They taste amazing and I love the boost of energy they add to my mornings!"

4. Bars

Sophia always has bars in her dorm room to bring with her on the go. "It was way too hard for me to choose just one bar," she says, "So, while I'm a huge fan of Perfect Bars (blueberry cashew is my favorite!), if I'm looking for something a little less dense, I'll go with a Square Organics protein bar or any of the addicting RX Bar flavors. I always try to look for a bar that is low in sugar and made with clean, all-natural ingredients.'"

5. Almond or Coconut Flour

Sophia loves to bake healthy desserts that satisfy her sweet tooth, and are nutritious and delicious at the same time. Sophia says almond and coconut flour are her staples. "Whether I'm making paleo banana bread or chocolate chip cookies, these are my go-to baking bases."


Bella Edwards is a student at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts who is passionate about food and fitness. Whether it is a sweat sesh at Orange Theory Fitness or a class at SLT Back Bay, Bella is constantly on the move and always looking for foods that properly fuel her busy days

1. Spinach

This nutrient-dense food is the perfect ingredient to have on-hand. Whether it is the base for a nourishing salad or an addition to a delicious smoothie, Bella always has lots of spinach in her fridge.

2. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted veggies are a necessity. Bella usually does a Trader Joe's food haul at the beginning of the week and will roast vegetables ahead of time to prepare for busy days. She says, "I always try to incorporate four or more colors per meal for micronutrients, [including a] healthy fat, a source of protein, and a carb! This bowl consists of arugula, avocado, sweet potato, carrots, beets, and rainbow cauliflower."

3. Avocado

Avocado is an absolute must-have in a college dorm room. It can be put on a piece of toast with an egg, blended in a smoothie for a creamy texture, or added to a salad. It is the perfect way to load up on healthy fats and stay satisfied throughout the day.

4. Fat Balls

With key ingredients such as raw nuts or coconut oil, "fat balls" are low-carb, high-fat snacks popular on the Ketogenic diet. Bella loves fat balls because, "they’re delish and our bodies need and thrive off of healthy fats. The beautiful thing about these is they’re small, but mighty! Whenever I have KETO cups, they keep me full for hours, and even last me through my workouts!"

5. Nut Butters and Dried Fruit

Bella's go-to nut butter is Better Almond Butter's sprouted nut butter. She loves this brand because "One, they’re made from marcona almonds, which are the most delicious kind. I honestly didn’t think there was a difference until my friend pointed it out... but when you compare flavors... BAB wins! Two, [they only contain] only one ingredient... almonds! Seems silly to say, but it’s really hard to find nut butters that don’t contain added sugars, oils, etc. Three, their nuts are sprouted, which makes it way easier on your digestive system! (Gut health >>>) Four, you can put it on toast, in smoothies, in energy balls, fat bowls, or even eat it by the spoonful. And five, they make a variety of flavors, and textures to fulfill all of your nut buttah needs!"

According to these Instagram health foodies, these foods are must-haves in a dorm room because they offer nutrient-dense alternatives to those late-night cravings. I know that I'll be sure to stock up on these goodies in the future, and now, maybe you can, too.