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5 quick and healthy meals for students

Between going to lectures, socialising with new friends, and nursing hangovers, student life can be pretty full-on. It may be easy to rely on the occasional pot noodle or take away pizza order, but it's also important to give your body the energy and nutrition it needs so you can make the most of university life! To help you on your way, we've hand-picked five quick and healthy student meals.

Stereotypes about students' diets

Firstly, let's break down some negative student stereotypes. Not all students are unable to cook, lazy, or happy eating a diet high in sugar, fat, and salt. In fact, one 2018 survey1 found that there are four major student diet trends:

  1. Vegetarian.
  2. Snacking.
  3. Health-conscious.
  4. Convenience, red meat, and alcohol.

That said, university life is often a whirlwind of coursework and social events. It's useful to have a few quick and easy student recipes up your sleeve that also supply the energy and nutrition you need to get through freshers' week, freshers' flu and beyond.

What's more, did you know that students with the poorest diets, consisting of takeaways and other convenience foods, often spend the most money1?

Let's take a look at five tasty, time-saving healthy student meals that can make life a little bit easier.

Banana pancakes

Banana pancakes

Banana pancakes

Vegetarian

Total prep and cook time: 10 minutes

This four-ingredient breakfast is easy, quick, and perfect for feeding your flatmates and scoring Brownie points early on in the term. These pancakes also cater for almost everyone, being gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian. They also count as one of your five-a-day and are high-fibre, making them good for your heart and digestive health.

Get the recipe here.

Baked eggs and avocado

Baked eggs and avocado

Baked eggs and avocado

Vegetarian

Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes

In need of an energy boost before your morning lecture? If you want to keep your breakfast healthy but only have 20 minutes, it doesn't get much easier than cracking eggs into avocado halves and whacking them in the oven. This combination is high in protein, essential nutrients, and healthy fats while being low in sugar and salt.

Get the recipe here.

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Tuna and sweetcorn fish cakes

Tuna and sweetcorn fish cakes

Tuna and sweetcorn fish cakes

Pescatarian

Total prep and cook time: 25 minutes

When it comes to healthy, budget-friendly ingredients, tinned tuna is a student's best friend. This is particularly true for gymgoers looking for a speedy pre or post-gym meal, as tuna is high in protein. This essential nutrient helps to repair and strengthen muscles in between workouts.

Get the recipe here.

Spaghetti Bolognese for students

Spaghetti Bolognese for students

Spaghetti Bolognese for students

Meat

Total prep and cook time: 30 minutes

Spaghetti Bolognese is the ultimate comfort food that might remind you of home. This particular recipe dials back on expensive ingredients and time-consuming cooking methods but doesn't tone down the flavour. This is a great one to make in bulk for friends or to freeze in portions for quick midweek meals. To make it go even further, you can add lentils which are high in fibre and iron, and vitamin-rich vegetables such as carrots and mushrooms.

Get the recipe here.

Hungover noodle stir fry

Hungover noodle stir fry

Hungover noodle stir fry

Vegetarian

Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes

If you don't practically live off noodles, are you even a student? Pot noodles may only take five minutes, but for just 15 minutes longer you can make an exciting noodle stir fry that's also packed with protein from the eggs, and vitamins and fibre from the vegetables. This recipe is relatively low in salt and sugar, but there are still plenty of ingredients packing a punch, making it one of the top healthy student meals for when you're craving a salty hit during a hangover.

Get the recipe here.

Further reading

  1. Sprake et al. Dietary patterns of university students in the UK: a cross-sectional study.
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