Most of us college students try our best to get good grades so we can go on to achieve our career goals. We work so hard - studying for hours, pulling all-nighters, and dealing with high stress (hey finals!). These habits may be great for our futures, but they’re not so great for our bodies. In a perfect world, we’d be able to balance school with work, volunteering, having a social life, and a healthy diet/regular exercise. Seems great, right? But it also seems pretty difficult to do. No worries! Here are 10 different protein-packed snacks that can keep you energized and full for hours, so you can fight any fatty food cravings, and continue to study hard.
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1. Apples and Peanut Butter
This is definitely one of my favorite snacks. I mean, it’s sweet, salty, crunchy, and soft all at the same time! It’s also an easy snack to take to work or class. Pro tip: to prevent your apple slices from browning, pour a little bit of orange or lemon juice over them, and make sure it covers the apples completely.
2. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Sprinkle a little bit of salt on them, and you have a delicious snack that should keep you full for quite some time. Choose a night during the week when you have some free time, and make a couple of hard-boiled eggs. Check out this egg steamer for a fast and easy way to prep your snacks for the week.
String cheese takes me back to my childhood, where I would pull thin strips of cheese out oh so slowly … Wait, I still do that. String cheese is portable, delicious, and makes crackers a little less boring. Plus, it’s easy to eat on the go - in class, at work, or in the car (always remember to drive safely, though!).
4. Avocado Toast
This option is sort of like a big snack or a mini meal. Mashed avocado spread on toast, dusted with a bit of salt and pepper, topped with a sunny-side up egg is delicious. It’s also super filling and pretty good for you; avocados are fatty, but they contain the good types of fats that won’t wreak havoc on our arteries.
Check out this avocado multi-tool for taking care of the prep!
If you prefer your snacks to be in liquid form, this smoothie is a great option for you. The Cocoa Kong smoothie is chock-full of peanut butter, banana, and vanilla Greek yogurt - all protein-packed ingredients. Mix these ingredients with milk (skim, almond, soy, etc.) and ice, and blend until smooth.
6. DIY Trail Mix
Sure, you can buy a pre-made trail mix at the store, but chances are that it will contain high amounts of sugar and salt - even though it’s a so-called “healthy” snack. If you make your own trail mix, you’ll know exactly what you’re eating, and you can make your own variations. Try mixing cashews, almonds, and pistachios with dried fruit or dark chocolate chips.
7. Chocolate Milk
Another childhood throwback! Chocolate milk may be sweet, but it’s a great way to get some quick protein in the morning or after a workout. Plus, it’s portable if you buy a little carton (like the kids), or just bring your own cup of milk. With 9 grams of protein, chocolate milk will make sure you don’t go hungry for at least a few hours. If you want to make your chocolate milk with chocolate protein powder, try a Blender Bottle to cut back on dirty dishes and take your snack to go.
Bonus: They come in so many different colors, you might even be able to squeeze in a little bit of school pride while you power up!
8. Yogurt Parfait
Think of a yogurt parfait as a combination between a dessert and a snack. It’s super easy to make, and the Greek yogurt will fill you up, even with a small serving. Simply layer your yogurt, fruit, and granola into a container. Slip it into your bag, and you’ll have a delicious snack for later!
This container can keep your snack chilled in your bag, without the need of a lunchbox and extra ice packs.
In the immortal words of Donkey from "Shrek": “You know what ELSE everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, ‘Let's get some parfait,’ they say, ‘Hell no, I don't like no parfait’? Parfaits are delicious!”
9. Turkey Roll-Ups
Think of these as a turkey and cheese wrap, without the carbs. Simply place your desired sauce, veggies, and cheese on the edge of a slice of turkey. Then, roll it up and hold everything in place with a toothpick. Try a roll-up with mustard, sliced red pepper, carrots, and Havarti cheese! Yum.
Turns out that jerky can actually be pretty good for you (as long as you watch the sodium). There are different variations - pork, turkey, beef - and they all come in low-sodium options. An ounce of jerky has between 7-11 grams of protein and is low in calories. Keep a bag handy in your car or bag for snacking in between classes.