On-The-Go Healthy Eating for Students

by Marisa Kobylowski, Staff Writer

  Being a young adult can be tough. There’s school, homework and after school activities. It’s all so draining. Being a senior in high school, I would know. There’s so much to do in one day, multiply that times five days, and it’s nearly impossible to have any time left to spend hanging out with friends and family. We are always on the go and even eating can become a challenge.  This article is for any student who is looking for quick and easy “on-the-go” foods to help them improve their diet and get through the day.

  Teens like me, roll out of bed, get changed and are out the door, skipping out on the most important meal of the day: breakfast! Breakfast is important because it raises your metabolism, gives you drive, enhances brain function, and aids you in withholding from the itch to grab a midnight snack. You will not only feel refreshed as you begin your morning, you will also feel less hungry throughout the day!

  This is crucial because you will then be less likely to graze at night.  You will be able to concentrate and perform better.  Most of my friends complain they are not hungry in the morning.  This is pretty common for teenagers.  It often has to do with all the after school and nighttime eating that goes on the day before.

  You should gradually get into the habit of eating breakfast (even if later in the morning) to prevent the viscous cycle of binge eating. Make sure you pay attention to the nutritional value on granola bars, yogurt, etc. When reading labels here’s what to looks for:

  • Carbohydrates < 20 grams (equivalent to 1 slice of bread)
  • Fiber > 3 grams
  • Sugar < 6 grams (equivalent to 1 tsp sugar).
  • Protein 7 – 21 grams (equivalent to 1-3 ounces of protein)

Lunch time can also pose a problem for teens.  As a senior in high school, I’m given the privilege of being allowed to leave for lunch. I know I like to relax while I eat, but I try to refrain from watching TV, using my phone or IPAD, or standing around talking with friends.  This helps me from eating mindlessly. Being on a tight lunch schedule my friends sometimes suggest we eat at nearby fast-food chains.  Luckily, I am always able to find a healthier option.  Some good alternatives are a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato without the mayo or a grilled chicken salad instead of a fried chicken sandwich or a cheeseburger. I’ll also suggest to my friends that we go home for lunch in an effort to have healthier choices. For most students who do eat lunch in school, it’s important to be cautious of unhealthy cafeteria food. Packing your lunch is always the best choice.

In school if you start to feel hungry take out a healthy snack to chew on between classes, during class if you’re allowed or save some for after school. This will prevent you from grazing when you get home from school.

No matter at home, in the cafeteria or in a restaurant, it’s important to practice mindful eating.  Sit down, eat slowly and pay attention to what and how much you are eating.  This will prevent overeating later.

Lastly, my tip for what to drink is water! Hydrate all day long! Always bring water to school and keep refilling the bottle throughout the day. Water helps sustain the balance of body fluids, its zero calories, energizes muscles, maintains healthy bowel function, and helps keep your kidneys healthy. A bonus is it keeps your skin looking and feeling healthy!

Here are some best picks for breakfast, lunch and on-the-go snacks including some of my daily go-to foods:



  • Greek Yogurt (Plain is best, but you can also eat yogurts that contain fruit as well)

-Chobani Nonfat Greek Yogurt (calories: 90, total fat: 0g, total carbs: 7g, Dietary fiber: < 0g, sugars: 4g, protein: 15g)

Chobani 2% Greek Yogurt (ex: Coconut-calories: 150, total fat: 4.5g, total carbs: 16g, Dietary fiber: <1g, sugars: 13g, protein: 12g)

Oikos traditional plain Greek Yogurt (calories: 90, total fat: 9g, total carbs: 9g, Dietary fiber: 0g, sugars: 9g, protein: 20g)

Plain 0% Fage Greek Yogurt (calories: 100, total fat: 0g, total carbs: 7g, Dietary fiber: 0g, sugars: 7g, protein: 18g)

  • Cascade Nonfat Yogurt (calories: 110, total fat: 0g, total carbs: 16g, Dietary fiber: 0g, sugars: 13g, protein: 13g)



  • KIND Bars-roughly: (calories: 210g, total fat: 13g, total carbs: 19g, Dietary Fiber: 4g, sugars: 10g, protein:4g)
  • Kashi Chewy Granola Bars-roughly: (calories: 140, total fat: 5g, total carbs: 20g, Dietary Fiber: 4g, sugar: 5g, protein: 6g )
  • Larabar- ex: Apple Pie (calories: 190,  total fat: 10g, total carbs: 24g, Dietary Fiber: 5gm,  sugar: 18g, protein: 4g )
  • Health Warrior Chia Bar ex: Coconut (calories: 110, total fat: 6g, total carbs: 13g, Dietary Fiber: 4g, sugar: 4g, protein: 3g )
  • Rise Breakfast Bars  ex: macadamia pineapple (calories: 160, total fat: 10g, total carbs: 17g,  Dietary Fiber: 2g,  sugar: 12g, protein: 2g )
  • Zing Bars ex: Chocolate Peanut Butter (calories: 200, total fat: 10g, total carbs: 21g, Dietary Fiber: 4g,  sugar: 15g, protein: 13g )

English muffin: 

  • Any variety with > 3 grams fiber (calories: 310, total fat: 17g, total carbs: 32g, Dietary Fiber: 3g, sugars: 4g, protein: 12g) with 1 tbsp. of no sugar added peanut butter (calories: 100, total fat: 9g, total carbs: 2g, Dietary Fiber: 0.5g, sugars: 1g, protein: 4.5g  


  • Steel-Cut Oats- Arrowhead Mills (calories: 160, total fat: 3g, total carbs: 27g, Dietary Fiber: 8g, sugars: 0g, protein: 6g)
  • In a rush? make the night before and heat up in the morning.


  • Chicken Soft Taco-In a container pack mashed avocados with lemon juice, topped with a slice of shredded Monterey Jack before sealing. Next, fill two small whole wheat tortillas with shredded rotisserie chicken and sliced romaine lettuce. Store in re-sealable plastic bags. Assemble at lunch. (calories: 251.6, total fat: 8.5g, total carbs: 20g, Dietary Fiber: 1.5g, protein: 22.3g)


  • Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread(calories: 175.3, total fat: 5.7g, total carbs: 21.7g, Dietary Fiber: 5.7g, sugars: 2g, protein: 13.4g)


  • Waldorf Chicken Salad on Whole Wheat Bread (or alone)-Mix shredded rotisserie chicken, chopped apples, chopped celery, walnuts, raisins, and mayonnaise. Spread the chicken salad on whole wheat bread. (calories: 398, total fat: 16g, total carbs: 43g, Dietary Fiber: 6g, sugars: 21g, protein: 25g)


  • Tuna Salad Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread (or alone) (pickles and mayonnaise may be added) (calories: 350, total fat: 0g, total carbs: 41g, Dietary Fiber: 4g, sugars: 3g, protein: 31g)


  • Greek Salad– Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl, tossed thoroughly. If desired you can make it into a wrap. Ingredients: 2 cups romaine lettuce, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, 1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)1/2 cup sliced cucumber, 2 tablespoons low-fat vinaigrette (calories: 149, total fat: 13g, total carbs: 6g, Dietary Fiber: 3g, sugars: 0g, protein: 3g)


  • Caesar Salad Turkey Whole Wheat Wrap (calories: 242.7, total fat: 6.7g, total carbs: 38.8g, Dietary Fiber: 8.1g, sugars: 3g, protein: 11.2g)


  • Unsalted Almonds- 1oz. (calories: 160, total fat: 13g, total carbs: 7g, Dietary Fiber: 3g, sugars: 1g, protein: 6g)


  • Sliced Apples with no sugar added peanut butter (1 apple-calories: 95, total no sugar added peanut butter- (calories: 100, total fat: 9g, total carbs: 2g, Dietary Fiber: 0.5g, sugars: 1g, protein: 4.5g)


  • Plain Popcorn topped off with  1 tbsp. of shredded Parmesan Cheese (23 calories) (skip the oil)
  • Popcorn: (calories: 92, total carbs: 19g, Dietary Fiber: 4g, protein: 3g)
  • Parmesean Cheese-23 calories


  • Whole Wheat mini bagel (calories: 74, total fat: 0.36g, total carbs: 15.19g, Dietary Fiber: 1.14g, sugars: 0.47g, protein: 2.71g) with no sugar added peanut butter (calories: 100, total fat: 9g, total carbs: 2g, Dietary Fiber: 0.5g, sugars: 1g, protein: 4.5g)


  • Olives-(calories: roughly 45 for 5oz., total fat: 4.5g, total carbs: 1g, Dietary Fiber: 0g, sugars: 0g, protein: 0g) – One serving of five kalamata olives contains about 25 calories


See breakfast options.

For more nutrition tips please contact or visit my mentor, Erin Spitzberg-owner of Living It!Nutrition located in Glen Rock, NJ.  (http://livingitnutrition.com/)