Tips for Parents Who Want to Keep Their Kid Healthy in College


It isn’t uncommon for college students to gain weight. As a matter of fact, one study found that 70 percent of college students weighed an average of 12 pounds more at graduation than they did when they left high school.

Although the freshman 15 may sound like a rite of passage, added body weight and fat can have disastrous consequences on your child’s overall health.

That doesn’t mean it’s time to start reprimanding them about their diet! Instead, follow these tips to help encourage healthy eating while they’re away from home without nagging them about it.

Send Them the Money They Need to Buy Groceries

College students often end up eating whatever is around simply because they don’t have a lot of money to buy healthy food. After all, a bowl of ramen noodles costs less than most of the vegetables in the produce aisle.

Send them the money they need so they can buy groceries. You can use a money transfer service if your student is studying abroad or you can send them a check in the mail. If you’re worried about how your college student is going to spend the money, consider a prepaid credit card.

Stock Their Dorm with Good Snacks

When you drop your student off for the first time, and any time you come to visit, make it your job to help them stock their dorm with healthy snacks. Bring them snack foods that include:

  • Baby carrots
  • Granola bars
  • Apples
  • Nut mixes
  • Popcorn
  • Oatmeal

Chances are, if they have something healthy to eat next to their desk, they won’t be willing to walk to the vending machine or the cafeteria to get junk food.

Be Smart About the Care Packages You Send

The best care packages are full of stuff your student will love. That usually means things like their favorite candy and homemade cookies. If you want to keep your kid healthy, consider adding other things they’ll like in the care package instead.

Microwave cookware is a good one, because it enables your student to make healthier meals in their dorm in an instant. Individual serving sizes that can be microwaved are a good idea too.

If you want to send them something fun, try packing toys, like a suction cup basketball hoop or a board game they can play with their friends.

Cook for Them, If You Can

If your college student lives close, you can invite them over for dinner. Make it a fun weekly occasion, allow them to bring a friend or two, and they’ll start looking forward to it.

Plus, it enables you to choose the menu. You can choose healthy foods to serve. That way, you can feel good knowing that they get at least one healthy meal once a week!

You won’t be able to stop your kid from eating out or eating cake for breakfast, but with these tips, you can encourage healthy eating without being overbearing.