The top 10 things to munch that won’t leave you in an exam slump

Bagel sandwich with meat, cream cheese, and vegetables
Healthy sandwich for on-the-go


Finals are quickly approaching.  With the stress of papers and the ever-present all-nighter, your brain could use all the help it can get.  Try these healthy snacks that will keep your mind fresh and your taste buds satisfied.

1. Yogurt: Pack some yogurt in your backpack along with a crunchy cereal of choice and your favorite fruits to mix in.  The carbs from the cereal will give you energy while the protein in yogurt will keep you feeling full all the way through your calc review session.

Yogurt with fruit
Yogurt with fruit

2. Winter Fruits:  Apples, oranges, bananas, and pears are all in season.  Loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and carbohydrates, stock your dorm room full for when you need a burst of energy.

3.  Half a Turkey Sandwich: Snacks can be real food, too.  Lean meats like turkey and chicken breast are a smart choice when you’re in need of something quick.  Pick up some slices of goodness in the deli section of your local grocery store.  Can’t get to the store or not in the mood to make it yourself?  Head to a bagel shop or on-campus dining facility and have them make a sandwich just the way you like it.

4. Red Peppers & Hummus:  A great alternative to baby carrots and ranch dip (which is still very yummy) this combination provides loads of nutrients  and a taste that is guilt-free.  Also try hummus with whole wheat pita, zucchini, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, or raw asparagus.

Rice cake with cream cheese
Rice cake with cream cheese

5. Almonds and Walnuts: These savory snacks are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that boost your mood and your memory.  To avoid overindulging try filling up a mint tin or half of a small plastic bag to control portion size.

6. Chips:  Now I’m not talking about the ones fried in oil and seasoned with various flavors, delicious as they may be.  I suggest reaching for an equally tasty baked option or even the wholegrain versions available in vending machines around campus when you have the munchies.

7. Granola Bars: Portable, fiber-packed, and tasty, what’s not to love?

8. Rice Cakes: Rice cakes can be a nice alternative to chips when you want something crunchy.  You can get as creative as you want with anything from peanut butter to salsa to jazz up this basic snack.

Bowl of popcorn
Bowl of popcorn

9. Dark Chocolate: While chocolate may seem like more of an indulgent treat than a brain-boosting bar, dark chocolate is exactly that.  Chocolate with 65% or more cacao content contains antioxidants, flavonoids, catechins, and theobromine, which increases cognitive function and enhances mood.  You will enjoy the taste and feel better about your exams in the process.

10. Popcorn: These white puffy kernels are a mainstay in any college student’s diet.  Look for individual sized packages to carry on the go.  The volume and fiber will keep you full enough to focus on your studies, not your growling stomach.


Information and photos collected from



What’s your favorite healthy go-to snack during exam time?

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