It’s about that time; your kids are heading to college and you need to prepare them to live on their own. Knowing how important this year will be for them, keeping a healthy lifestyle should be a priority. We know it’s important for your kids to feel their best and like most college students – do it on a tight budget.

With the limited space in dorm rooms and residence hall restrictions, they’ll have to get resourceful when cooking healthy meals. Use this check list as a guide for what kitchen supplies you should be sure to pack with them:

  • Mini Fridge. College students have an uncanny ability to pack a lot in what may appear like a small fridge from the outside.
  • Personal Blender. Mini blenders are especially useful, like this Hamilton Beach single-serve blender with a travel lid. They not only take up less space, but all you have to do is blend, put the lid on, and head out the door with a healthy breakfast smoothie!
  • Microwave. A 1000 Watt microwave is recommended, but check university policies.
  • Hot Pot. This Aroma electric kettle is great for heating up to 7 cups of water for tea, instant oatmeal or soup.
  • Coffee Maker. The Bodum Brazil French Press may sound fancy, but it is an easy way to prepare coffee. You only need boiling water (can be heated in your microwave or hot pot), ground coffee, and the French press itself. No electrical outlets required.
  • Small Equipment. This includes utensils, measuring cups, plates/bowls, small knifes, storage containers, Ziploc bags, a cutting board, etc.
  • Personal Water Bottle. We recommend stainless steel, glass or BPA free plastic. Purchase one that has a filtration system within it to avoid a large pitcher taking up too much space in your mini fridge.

You can find all of these products at your local Meijer and be sure to check policies at your student’s school to ensure you’re following all dorm requirements.

Now that your student is set with supplies, it’s important to plan ahead. Not only will this help them stay healthy, but it will save time and money – two very important things for college students. Take the time to talk with your kids about the topics below, before they head off.

  • What is their class schedule like? Figure out which days they can eat on campus, eat in their room and when they should remember to pack a lunch.
  • What makes them happy and productive? Maybe it’s a cup of tea during late night study time. Or coffee as they crawl out of bed. Whatever it may be, be sure to have it on hand.
  • Be a smart shopper. Make a list. This way they won’t waste money on non-essentials or things already on hand. Use coupons, smartphone apps and store loyalty programs like mPerks to save additional dollars when shopping.

Now that you’ve got the basics, be sure to explore the rest of the site for recipes, meal planning options, fitness tips and wellness paths to help make college life easier.

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