Finals Guide: Healthy, portable snack options for finals week

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When the stress of finals week hits, it can be tempting to order a pizza, visit the snack machine or grab the closest, greasiest, most immediately satisfying food. But those are not the best options when attempting to stay awake, focused and energized during finals week.

Instead, lean snacks with a combination of carbohydrates and protein can help keep students at their best during finals week, while warding away distracting hunger pains. If finals week means camping out at Hale Library, there is no reason to worry. Many nutritious and inexpensive snacks are easily portable.

Here are some examples of healthy, easy-to-prepare snacks that do not require refrigeration for finals week.

Celery or carrot sticks with ranch dressing or peanut butter. Store in an empty, clean peanut butter jar for a low-mess, easy to grab snack.

Bananas come in their own package and are full of potassium and energy.

Instant oatmeal makes a quick, hot, almost-meal snack. Bring a bowl, spoon and instant oatmeal packet to make a quick, filling snack while studying. Hale Library has a microwave in the vending machine nook in the basement for students to use, although they ask students not to use it to make popcorn.

Beef jerky is a great choice for protein. Significant amounts of protein can be hard to get when packing snacks to go, but beef jerky can easily keep hunger at bay.

Trail mix can provide a great combination of sweet and salty. Look for one with a variety of protein, fruits, dairy and sweet pieces. Pre-made trail mix can be very salty, so be sure to drink extra water, or make your own with pretzels, dried fruit, cereal or other yummy ingredients.

Less than one hour on Sunday evening spent preparing snacks and meals to go can help cut down on fast food meals, pizza orders and trips to the vending machine all week. With a little planning, you can stay full and save money while studying during finals week.

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