Earlier this week, I read an interesting study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (a segment of NIH) that talked about how the average dorm room contains 20,000 calories worth of snack food, most of which consisted of heavily processed snacks and other junk food. While not every snack in my dorm room is a perfect healthy choice (looking at you, gummy worms), today I will be sharing ten healthy dorm snacks (meaning snacks that I keep in my dorm room) that also help with my migraines. Many of these snacks are allergen-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free, though I do not have any of these dietary restrictions.
Larabars are energy bars that are made of fruits, nuts, and spices, with no added sugar, gluten, dairy, or GMO ingredients. They are a great breakfast food as well as one of my favorite post-migraine snacks and overall healthy dorm snacks. Larabar also makes a line of truffles that are basically round bite-size versions of their chocolate bars. My favorite Larabar flavors are the blueberry muffin and pumpkin pie bars.
One of my friends got me to try roasted pumpkin seeds one day after class, and since then I have always kept a bag or two in my dorm. They are high in magnesium, which helps control blood sugar levels, as well as high in antioxidants and other vitamins. I like both the unsalted and salted varieties and don’t really have a preference for either.
When I first was diagnosed with migraines, it was recommended that I cut out all added sugar to my diet to see if that made any difference in my pain levels. While cutting out sugar didn’t help my migraines, it did help me develop a taste for less-sweetened yogurt. Out of all of the brands I have tried, Siggi’s is my favorite because all of their flavors contain more protein than sugar per cup, which is great for breakfast or as an energy-boosting healthy dorm snack. I was excited to learn my local Starbucks carries Siggi’s yogurt.
Reduced sugar Uncrustables
During my freshman year, the dining halls would close at 10 PM, so I wasn’t able to get food late at night if I was hungry. I always kept a box of reduced sugar Uncrustables in my freezer so I could easily defrost a sandwich if needed. I prefer the reduced sugar version because it is healthier and also uses whole grain bread.
Breyer’s vanilla ice cream
Why Breyer’s vanilla ice cream? It only contains five ingredients and no artificial flavors, thickeners, or preservatives. Plus, it’s easy to find on campus or at any grocery store. I like the rich vanilla taste and the fact that it’s easy to scoop out of the carton so I don’t hurt my hands. I know this isn’t one of the most healthy dorm snacks, but it is a healthier alternative to other brands.
Garden of Eatin’ Chips and salsa
I’ll pretty much eat anything that has salsa on it, and my favorite tortilla chips are the Garden of Eatin’ blue corn tortilla chips. Again, I’m not sure if I like them better salted or unsalted, but I love to pair them with a tomato salsa of some sort. They sell this brand of chips in the on-campus convenience store along with different types of salsa, though any simple tortilla chips will do.
Black pepper Triscuits
Another friend of mine brought a box of black pepper Triscuits to a movie night and I found myself eating a lot of them, especially with the soft cheese she had brought. Cheese or no cheese, I like these crackers because they have a nice amount of seasoning, are high in fiber, and contain 23 grams of whole grain per serving.
Cake mix mug cake
Ok, this probably isn’t the healthiest item on here, but it is certainly healthier than eating an entire cake. Take 3 tablespoons of cake mix and 2 tablespoons of water, mix the ingredients in a microwaveable cup or mug, and pop it in the microwave for one minute. This works with any cake mix, and you can add sprinkles or other toppings if you wish- personally, I just like plain yellow cake.
Popcorn is easily one of my favorite snacks, so long as it doesn’t have any trans fats or a really long ingredients list. My favorite microwave popcorn is the Kirkland Signature brand from Costco, though I also like BOOMCHICKAPOP bagged popcorn- I recommend both types because some dorms may not allow students to microwave popcorn since it is a common cause for fire alarms.
String cheese can last practically forever in the fridge with a six to eight month shelf life, making it perfect for a dorm refrigerator. I also appreciate that it can go without unrefrigerated for a couple of hours, so I can just toss it in a pocket of my backpack and go, assuming my laptop doesn’t squish it first.
It can be difficult to find healthy snacks for a dorm room, especially when students usually are eating at the dining halls for all of their meals. However, people with chronic migraines and other chronic illnesses need to remember to plan for food in the event they cannot get to the dining hall. I hope these ideas for ten healthy migraine-friendly snacks are helpful for students wanting convenient snacks that won’t trigger any other adverse health reactions.