Cooking Restrictions In Nigerian Universities Vs Healthy Eating Among Students

Cooking Restrictions In Nigerian Universities Vs Healthy Eating Among Students

2 weeks ago
2 mins read

Majority of Nigerian private universities prohibit cooking in campus hostels. Hence, maintaining a healthy diet can be particularly challenging for the students. However, there are still numerous strategies to ensure nutritious eating without access to a kitchen. Here are some practical tips to help students eat healthily under these circumstances:

1. Utilise University Cafeterias Wisely

Most university cafeterias offer a variety of meal options. Choose meals that include a balance of protein, vegetables, and whole grains. If the university offers meal plans, select one that provides the most balanced and nutritious options. Take advantage of salad bars, fruit servings, and yogurt if available.

2. Smart Snacking

Stock up on healthy, non-perishable snacks that don’t require cooking. These include nuts, seeds, dried fruits, whole grain crackers, and granola bars. If possible, keep fresh fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, and grapes on hand. These are easy to carry, don’t necessarily require refrigeration, and provide essential vitamins and minerals.

READ ALSO: Snacking On Grapes May Add 4-5 Years To Lifespan – New Study

3. Cold Meal Preparation

Prepare simple salads using ingredients that don’t require cooking, such as leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, etc. Use olive oil and vinegar for a healthy dressing. Here are a few examples of simple salads with accessible ingredients:

Basic Tomato and Cucumber Salad

  • Tomatoes (chopped)
  • Cucumbers (sliced)
  • Onions (sliced)
  • Olive oil and vinegar dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Leafy Green Salad

  • Lettuce or Spinach
  • Carrots (shredded)
  • Bell Peppers (sliced)
  • Cabbage (shredded)
  • Lime juice and olive oil dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Protein-Packed Salad

  • Mixed leafy greens (Ugu, Spinach)
  • Canned beans (drained and rinsed)
  • Boiled eggs (sliced)
  • Avocado (sliced)
  • Olive oil and vinegar dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Fruity Salad

  • Lettuce or Spinach
  • Mango (diced)
  • Avocado (sliced)
  • Pineapple (diced)
  • Groundnuts (roasted)
  • Lime juice and honey dressing

4. Microwave and Electric Kettle Cooking

If you have access to a microwave, you can prepare a variety of healthy meals. Use it to steam vegetables, cook oatmeal, heat canned soups, or reheat pre-packaged meals. An electric kettle can be used to boil water for instant oatmeal, couscous, noodles, and to make tea. It’s also handy for preparing instant soups.

5. Healthy Choices from Local Vendors

Opt for healthier street food options when buying from local vendors. Grilled corn, roasted plantains, suya (grilled meat), and akara (bean cakes) are nutritious choices. If permitted, visit local markets to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and ready-to-eat foods. Markets often offer a wider range of healthy and affordable food options compared to stores near campus.

6. Hydration

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid sugary drinks and sodas. Carry a reusable water bottle to ensure you have access to clean drinking water. Choose healthy beverage options like fresh fruit juices (without added sugar), coconut water, and herbal teas.

7. Collaborate with Friends

Pool resources with friends to buy healthy snacks and fresh produce in bulk, which can be more cost-effective. If you have friends with access to cooking facilities, consider sharing meals. They cook, and you contribute to the cost of ingredients.

8. Supplementing Nutrition

Consider taking a daily multivitamin to ensure you’re getting essential nutrients that might be missing from your diet. Protein shakes can be a convenient way to supplement your diet, especially if your protein intake is low.

 


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