Eating healthy in college can be tough.

As a nutrition and dietetics major, I try to value healthy eating as often as possible, which is why I am sharing with you my guide to simple nutrient dense meals and three of my personal favorites.

It's hard enough trying to balance school, work, a social life and getting exercise, that thinking about properly fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods can easily be looked over as you gravitate to the nearest fast food chain between classes to silence your grumbling stomach. Unfortunately, the fast foods we often choose to consume are full of grease, empty calories and can leave us feeling tired and groggy throughout the day. Building good food habits is an important skill to have in life and it is best to start creating healthy habits early, especially when it comes to what you're putting in your body.

Having a basic understanding of the composition of foods is key in preparing nutrient dense meals 

It is so important to make sure you are nourishing your body with a wide range healthy foods to make sure your body is getting enough macronutrients and micronutrients to keep you healthy and give you the energy to power through classes. All meals should contain carbohydrates and fats for energy, protein for satiety, and vitamins and minerals to keep your body happy.  

My favorite source of carbohydrates include oats, beans, and starchy vegetables (like butternut squash and sweet potatoes), in addition to multigrain bread and fruits. 

For protein, you can not go wrong with lean meats such as chicken breast or turkey. Eggs and Greek yogurt are other incredible sources of protein that I incorporate into my daily meal routines.

Fats carry so much flavor, which is why I love them. Nuts, peanut butter and cheese are great sources of healthy fats which also contain a good amount of protein. 

The best way to ensure you are getting an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals is to make sure your diet is colorful! Eat lots of fruits and veggies through out the day. 

I love incorporating these foods in simple meals that I create and hope you will enjoy these recipes as much as I do.  

The Recipes:

For when you're craving chicken

Throw together a simple sandwich with chicken breast, 1 slice of Swiss cheese, mashed avocado and spinach on multigrain bread.

This sandwich is so good you will forget about all fast food chicken joints. 

For the sweet tooth

Toss a sweet potato in the oven (or air fryer), then top it with peanut butter, almonds and frozen blueberries.

My favorite way to cook a sweet potato is to coat it in coconut oil, then pop it in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 30 minutes (or in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes at 425). 

For a twist on classic oatmeal

Savory oats may sound odd, but trust me, this is one of my favorite, quick and easy dinners. Oats are such a good source of fiber and are extremely versatile, I would be lying if I said they weren't my favorite food.

Cook 1/2 cup of oats with 1/2 cup of water in the microwave for one minute and 30 seconds, then top them with 1 or 2 fried eggs, a little cheese and your vegetable of choice. 

With that, there are a few nutrient dense recipes to incorporate into your recipe rotation! Bon Apetit!