Healthy Food for Hostel Students – Indian Student Edition

Healthy food for college students

For most of students, the day they move to hostel for under graduation is also their first experience of living away from their family. It is also the first time they are responsible for their health, nutrition, and food. College is a busy time in any persons life and my objective in this guide to healthy food for hostel students is only to give you the simplest, smallest, and easiest steps you can take to make healthier choices.

Anyone who is conscious about improving their health will tell you that they wished they had started sooner. Don’t wait for next month or the infamous New-Year resolution. The right time start eating healthy is today and now. So kudos to you if you are already on your journey of becoming healthier and fitter and want to continue doing the same when you go to hostel and if this is the first step in the journey, there isn’t a better time to begin.

Reasons to Eat Healthy

  • Reduces chances of getting sick. Missing even two days of classes can leave you with with a huge backlog. You would want to do everything you can to avoid getting sick and eating healthy and clean food is one right step in that direction.
  • Energy level. A nutritious diet sustains energy throughout the day, preventing the crashes associated with high-sugar or high-fat meals.
  • Long-term health. Developing healthy eating habits in college can reduce the risk of chronic diseases later in life.
  • Building habits for future. By cultivating these habits in the present, you lay the foundation for a brighter and more fulfilling future. If you start making healthier choices while in college, chances are you will continue to do so in future.
  • Stress management. Proper nutrition can help mitigate stress, enhancing mental well-being and reducing the impact of academic pressures.

Make Healthier Choices

Like I mentioned before, everyone who has been on path to improving their healthier will tell you that they wished that they started sooner. But what is it exactly that you can do while in college, with limited time and resources? Below is a list of small steps that you can start taking today.

  • Eat breakfast. I know and understand how enticing ten extra minutes of sleep in the morning can be but I also have to emphasise on the importance of breakfast. It is the fuel you need to for a demanding day of classes and study. Skipping breakfast can lead to fatigue and hinder academic performance, emphasizing its vital role in student success.
  • Avoid processed food. This is a trap that I have been a victim of myself. I am in my thirties and I am still facing repercussions of the choices I made then. It is very convenient to grab a packet of chips or rely on ready-to-eat meals but they can have long term consequences affecting your overall health and well being.
  • Eat outside in moderation. You don’t have to completely stop, after all you bond with people over a meal and anyone who has been to college will tell you that college friendships are for life. So go out, have fun but be mindful of the portions and what you are eating.
  • Eat fruits. Fruits make a great snack. Choose a fruit like banana, apple, or guava and you have no effort, just grab and eat snack for you.
  • Don’t over indulge. This is a common problem for working professionals and college students alike. Overeating can strain your digestive system, causing discomfort, bloating, and even long-term health issues. It’s crucial to listen to your body’s hunger cues and practice portion control.
  • Plan ahead. This may be the most simple way of staying healthy in hostel. If you plan your meals and prep for them in advance, you are more likely to stay on track on being healthy. Here is a meal plan I specially designed keeping in mind limitations and ability of college students.
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Did you know that a single 350ml can of Coca Cola has 10 teaspoons of sugar? If you are reading this article, you don’t need me to tell you that nothing good that comes from sugar. Best way of avoiding sugary drinks is not to store it. This will force you to make an effort of going to the store every time you want to consume it.

Cooking in Dorm

In conclusion, cooking in a dorm may not offer the same culinary freedom as a fully-equipped kitchen, but it can be a rewarding and skill-enhancing endeavor. With a dash of creativity, a pinch of planning, and a sprinkle of time management, students can turn their dorm room into a hub of delicious, nutritious, and budget-friendly meals.

One of the key aspects of cooking in a dorm is the need for creativity. With a small fridge, a microwave, and perhaps a small stovetop or hotplate, students can get surprisingly inventive with their culinary endeavors. Simple recipes that require minimal equipment and ingredients become the go-to choices. Here are some of the dishes you can cook in dorm are:

  • One-pot pasta
  • Sandwich
  • Salad
  • Bread with aloo sabji
  • Fried Rice

If you do not have access to kitchen, do not worry. There are some recipes you can cook using the most simple tool, the tea kettle. Here is a list of five healthy food for hostel students that you can make using just a tea kettle.

  • Upma (using pre-roast rava)
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Soup

Healthy Snacks for Hostel Students

We all know how late night study sessions are almost always accompanied with a bag of chips, kurkure, or maggi but you can avoid it by just planning ahead. There are plenty of healthy snacks for hostel students that they can binge on without having to worry about calorie.

  • Popcorn
  • Peanut butter toast
  • Yogurt with sugar-free granola
  • Fruits
  • Peanuts
  • Makhana
  • Khakhra
  • Cucumber with hummus


Prioritising healthy food for hostel students is crucial for their overall well-being and academic success. By incorporating balanced meals, locally-sourced ingredients, and mindful cooking practices, students can foster a culture of nutritious eating that supports physical health and mental vitality. With a little planning and creativity, hostel life can become a nurturing environment where students can thrive and develop lifelong healthy eating habits.

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