By Nisha Takhar | UBC Dietitics Student
Exam season is a tough time for all students. Hitting the books for many hours - plus the change in routine and schedule - can make it harder to connect with our body’s internal hunger cues. This can lead to stress eating, or forgetting to eat altogether.
The most important thing to remember is: Don't forget to eat! Snack between meals, and drink lots of water!
To keep your body and mind fuelled this exam season, look for snacks that combine protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats for a winning combo that will provide important nutrients and keep you satisfied. Try putting these snacks together ahead of time so you’re prepared when the study munchies hit:
1. Veggies and dip
Crunchy veggies and dip make a great pair for exam season.
- Have a space to prepare your own meals? Pick up some veggies from Orchard - or head to Nester's for carrots, celery, snap peas or bell peppers - then pair your veggies with a few scoops of hummus. This snack is portable, and is packed with fibre to keep you full through that tough study session.
- Eating in Pritchard? Grab some veggies from the salad bar and pair them with Ranch or another dressing.
2. Fruit and dip
When you feel like something sweet, this snack is quick and easy to prepare.
- Have a space to prepare your own meals? Pick up some fruit from Orchard, or head to Nester's for some of our favourite fruits. Chop up a batch of apples, oranges, pears and grapes, and pair them with a Greek yogurt dip.
- Eating at Pritchard? Grab an apple or banana, and add a dollop of yogurt from the yogurt bar, or pick up a pack of peanut butter or cream cheese from the toast station!
Switch up the fruits you choose every time to keep things interesting. Or grab a spoon and make it a yogurt parfait!
3. Fruity yogurt bowl and granola
- Have a space to prepare your own meals? Making your own trail mix can be a great way to incorporate a variety of fuelling foods into your studying. Grab a bag or container and toss some granola, roasted seeds, coconut, and dried fruit (think raisins, currants, dates and currants) to get some fibre while satisfying a sweet tooth. Check out some homemade trail mix recipe ideas here for inspiration. Sprinkle on top of Greek yogurt along with frozen fruit (like mango, raspberries or pineapple) or fresh fruit (like bananas, blueberries and strawberries). Many of these ingredients are available at Orchard!
- Eating at Pritchard? Head to the parfait bar and start with a bowl of yogurt. Top it with fruit, granola, seeds or nuts of your choice. There's a big selection, so mix it up every day!
4. Toast with egg or avocado
- Have a space to prepare your own meals? Head to Orchard or Nester's to pick up a loaf of your favourite bread, a pack of eggs, and some toppings. Make your egg salad by smashing 1-2 hard-boiled eggs with a fork. Mix the well-smashed eggs with mayonnaise, diced celery and green onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toast your bread and spread the egg mixture on top. Boom! An easy recipe for a quick pick-me-up snack. If you prefer avocado, peel, slice and smash one avocado with a fork, and spread over toast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Eating at Pritchard? Order an egg or two from the Grill (if you are there in the morning) and top in on a piece of buttered toast. At lunch, head to the salad bar for half an avocado, and add it to a slice of toast or bagel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add shredded cheese or cherry tomatoes from the salad bar for extra flavour.
Popcorn is a great fibre-rich snack that comes with a satisfying crunch. Pop your own kernels in the microwave using a paper bag for a quick on-the-go snack. Try adding nutritional yeast to your popcorn for a cheesy and nutrient-rich boost.
Happy snacking and best of luck on your exams!