As your college student prepares to leave for the school year, prepare a healthy care package of natural foods and supplements that are easy, tasty and nutrient-dense. Or if you're the college student, get yourself a pampering package that's loaded with antioxidants, protein and flavor.
Everything on the list is shelf-stable, so fear not if they don't have room in their mini-fridge. Plus, you won't need to ship these healthy goods on ice.
Here's my picks for the Top 10 Essential Foods and Supplements for College Students for the '14-'15 school year.
- Vita Coco Pineapple Coconut Water ($21/case- Coffee For Less) Nature's healthy gatorade. Sometimes college students get dehydrated and need to replenish their electrolytes; have yours reaching for coconut water. They won't believe a drink with no added sugar and no artificial food coloring could taste like a Pina Colada.
- GoPicnic's Maple Turkey Sausage, Fruit & Nut Mix Ready-To-Eat Breakfast ($23.94/6pk- Abe's Market) Try their breakfast, or any of GoPicnic Brands, Inc. ready-to-eat meals for a great snack or meal throughout the day.
- Amazing Grass Whole Food Energy Bars ($35.99/case) Late for class? No need to sacrifice nutrition. Students can get their superfoods, fruits and vegetables in this delicious bar that comes in ten flavors.
- LaraBar Grain Free Granola Variety Pack ($29.85/15pk) Granola without grain? Chomp on LaraBar's ReNola and get all the fruits, nuts and seeds without the grain. This snack can be eaten on-the-go or added to plain yogurt for probiotic health benefits.
- Justin's Vanilla Almond Nut Butter ($8.99/10pk iHerb*) This vegan, gluten-free and protein-packed snack can be enjoyed plain, on whole grain toast, apples, bananas and celery. *Sale price. Regular price $14.99
- Flackers Gluten-Free Crackers ($5.99/pk) College kids need brain food, and with flax seed listed as its first ingredient, Flackers crackers are crunchy-yummy while delivering omega-3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. Choose from a variety of vegan, gluten-free and raw crackers. Makes a great snack with hummus or cheese.
- Vega French Vanilla Nutrition Shake ($28.99/10pk- Amazon) This plant-based nutrition shake is for the whole family. You'll love the fruits, vegetables, superfoods, plant proteins and probiotics. Your student will love the taste (mix with water or milk-alternative.) It's the creamiest, smoothest vegan shake I've tried, and the only reason I can't call it a meal replacement shake is because it's so low in calories (while still being nutrient dense)!
- Lotus Foods Heat-and-Eat Rice Bowl ($20.24/6pk) The black rice in these heat-and-eat rice bowls contain the same type of antioxidant found in blueberry and acai, but with more fiber and without the sugar. Microwave in 60-90 seconds, and add to vegetables, beans or a meat dish for added nutrients.
- Trac Health Ready-to-Mix Drink Packets ($21.95/case) Studying and socializing can be tiring! Re-energize with chia seeds, an ancient energy food delivering more iron than Popeye's spinach and more calcium that milk. A packet of Chia + Strawberry Lemonade mixed in water is a delicious, healthy alternative to artificially sweetened drink packets.
- Kind Organic Multi-Vitamins for Men & Women ($33.99/60 tablets- The Vitamin Shoppe*) Living on dorm food and a fast lifestyle, students will, no doubt, still fall short of their required daily vitamins and minerals. Alicia Silverstone's Kind vitamins are certified USDA Organic and sourced from whole foods the body can recognize and absorb for optimal nutrition. *Sale Price. Regular price $36.07
Check out the Top 15 Natural Dorm Room Essentials list for recommendations on kitchen (such as shaker cups and water filters) and bath supplies every college student needs.
Don't forget to add a gift card in their care package to a natural foods store (like Whole Foods) in their city. In addition to organic produce, your student can pick up more ready-to-eat healthy snacks like organic applesauce cups, cheese from raw milk, salsa and honey packets.
*I am not being compensated directly or indirectly to write on behalf of the brands mentioned in this article.