Mastering the art of the minifridge makeover

The minifridge is an essential appliance for college living. But with limited space, it is crucial to fill it with healthy staples that will provide numerous meals and snacks to fuel those early morning classes and late-night study sessions.

Plan your grocery shopping trip around MyPlate recommendations. Start with fruits and vegetables for quick snacks or meal add-ons — pre-washed and pre-cut vegetables are convenient and fruits of all kinds fit, but be sure to avoid added sugar.

Fill the fridge with lean proteins, such as eggs, turkey pepperoni or peanut and other nut butters. Dairy foods including low-fat cheese, milk and yogurt can round out a meal or snack. And pick up healthy whole grains such as whole grain bread, oats, crackers, tortilla chips, low-fat popcorn and microwavable rice cups.

With a plan and a well-stocked minifridge, there is no excuse for not having a healthy meal or snack on hand. The following list from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s choosemyplate.gov will kick-start your grocery list:

 10 healthy choices to keep in your dorm minifridge

•Low-fat cheese — eat as a snack, on a sandwich or to top cooked eggs

•Vegetables — choose a wide variety and add to egg dishes or pair with a dip like hummus or peanut butter

•Fruit — fresh, frozen, dried and canned will work, but avoid added sugars

•Water — try water before sugary drinks or add a flavor packet for a new taste

•Nuts and nut butters — use on a sandwich, as a snack or as a dip for fruits and veggies

•Eggs — if you’ve got a microwave, then you have a quick and easy breakfast

•Milk and yogurt — choose fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt

•Hummus — this bean spread is perfect as a veggie dip and on sandwiches or crackers

•Salsa — a great way to add veggies to your day, salsa pairs well with whole-grain chips or tortilla chips

•Use the Nutrition Facts Panel — helpful for monitoring sugar, fat, calories and serving size

Try the included recipe for Chocolate Banana Grahams to help treat that hunger on a study break. It’s an excellent way to satisfy a sweet tooth and get some well needed nutrition.

Chocolate Banana Grahams

Serves: 1

PapeAll you need

•1 square graham cracker, broken into 2 rectangles

•1/2 tsp Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread, divided

•2 slices banana, about 2 inches long

•1/2 tsp sweetened shredded coconut, toasted if desired, divided

All you do

Spread each graham cracker piece with 1/4 teaspoon Nutella.
Top with a slice of banana and a sprinkle of coconut.

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