When we think of healthy food, we often think about organic, exotic and creative dishes that we see all over celebrity Instagram accounts. But who can afford to eat like that all the time? As students, it’s important to prioritise health, but this has to be practical too. So we’ve created a list of healthy, easy-to-prepare and cheap meal ideas for students. Many of these items you can find from Aldi too, making it that much easier to eat healthily on a student budget!

Healthy ingredients

Here are just a handful of ingredients that instantly boost the healthiness of any student meal:

  • Nuts and seeds (tip: Aldi have a walnuts, cashews, chia seeds and more for fairly low prices)
  • Leafy greens (salad, spinach, kale, etc.)
  • Kiwis (suuuuper high in vitamin C)
  • Avocados (delicious and versatile…you’ll see below)
  • Lemons and limes (they even add to nutrition to your glass of water)

Healthy student meals

1. Veggie tray bake

include butternut squash in a healthy meal
Source: Canva

Versatile, easy, and healthy, a veggie tray bake is a student’s perfect meal. You can choose which vegetables you want to include, but we suggest including butternut squash (peeled and cut into 2cm cubes), tomatoes, carrots and red peppers. Put into a roasting tray and bake for approx 20 minutes. Then sprinkle with pine nuts, any cheese and breadcrumbs and bake for another 10 minutes. Not only will this dish taste delicious, but it’s also healthy and full of nutrients. Squash and carrots are rich in antioxidants and fibre, while red peppers are great for eye sight and their high vitamin C content is important for immunity. If you add pine nuts, you’ll also be getting vitamin E, K, iron and many other nutrients.

2. Stir fry

You can easily make this healthy student meal on a budget by choosing one of the stir fry meal deal options available. Supermarkets such as Tesco let you choose a stir fry pack, sauce and noodles (or alternative), and you simply throw them together. It’s a cheap, quick meal that provides a healthy alternative to a greasy takeaway stir fry. Many veg packs have edamame beans, which are very high in protein, and bean sprouts, which are a superfood. You can also add in tofu or chicken to boost protein count even more.

3. Eggs on toast

Ok I know you’re thinking this lacks all the veg and leafy greens! But, eggs are actually packed full of choline, which is extremely important for your brain and cell function. They’re also a good source of protein and iron, among other factors. This healthy student meal just requires scrambling eggs and a bit of bread on the side (opt for wholemeal). Just make sure you eat the yolk to truly reap the health benefits of eggs.

4. Mediterranean chickpea salad

Mediterranean chickpea salad
Source: Canva

Chickpeas are comparable to both protein and vegetables because they’re so nutritious, which makes this student meal super healthy. The mediterranean chickpea salad includes chickpeas (obviously), cucumber, red onion, red pepper and olives. Slosh some olive oil and top with feta for a delicious meal, full of health-boosting properties. The ingredients combine protein, healthy fats, fruit and veg, which are hydrating, fulfilling and…delicious.

5. Vegetable Ramen alternative

This recipe is so warming and nutritious, you can just feel your health rebounding by the smell of it! Ramen noodles are often seen as unhealthy, but you can swap them for rice noodles, packed full of minerals. Alternatively, you can just use instant noodles too. Cook the noodles in a veg or chicken stock, and add in pak choi and spring onions for three minutes before they’re done. Then pour into a bowl and add a boiled egg, sesame seeds and chilli sauce or flakes. Pak choi, spring onions and sesame seeds combined fuel this healthy student meal with fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C, zinc, selenium, copper and more! No wonder this is one of our healthy student meals!

6. Mexican-inspired tortilla, with refried beans, guacamole and rice.

Mexican food is just delicious, and it can also be done by swapping some food for healthy alternatives. Try wholewheat tortillas and wholewheat rice (or try the mixed microwave rice pouch options in supermarkets which often have quinoa or cauliflower instead). You can also get tins of refried beans – or try pinto beans, which need to be heated, then mash up an avocado with olive oil, salt and tomatoes. Fill your tortillas with the food and enjoy. Beans have great protein content, while avocados are just the king of superfoods in the student world. Tip – squeeze lime juice everywhere for an even healthier meal.

7. Green pasta

Don’t worry the pasta itself is still very much not green, but this dish includes peas, leeks and green beans. Peas are full of protein and heart-friendly minerals, leeks are anti-inflammatory, green beans have folate and b-vitamins. This healthy student meal can be made in minutes too, just by frying leeks and beans, boiling pasta and opening a can of peas. If you want to make it more tasty, sprinkle with cheese or add grilled salmon or chicken.

8. Spag bol

Spaghetti bolognese is a healthy student meal
Source: Canva

If you want to make this dish healthier, opt for vegetarian bolognese, which is still high in protein. You could also try wholewheat spaghetti, which will make this student meal even healthier. It’s a quick meal that’s easy to do on a study break. You boil spaghetti, cook the mince with some onion and garlic in a pan and a jar of bolognese sauce.

Shopping list for these healthy student meals

The list above is eight wholesome meals that are packed full of nutrients. If you want to make all these healthy student meals, this handy shopping list below is everything you need. The numbers next to the ingredient refer to the meals in the list.

  • Butternut squash (1)
  • Tomatoes (1, 6)
  • Carrots (1)
  • Red peppers (1, 4)
  • Olive oil (1, 2, 6)
  • Stir fry veg (2)
  • Stir fry sauce (2)
  • Noodles (2, 4)
  • Eggs (3, 5)
  • Wholewheat bread (1)
  • Chickpeas (4)
  • Olives (4)
  • Feta (4)
  • Cucumber (4)
  • Red onion (4)
  • Spring onion (5)
  • Pak choi (5)
  • Sesame seeds (5)
  • Avocado (6)
  • Wholewheat microwaveable rice (6)
  • Tin of refried beans (6)
  • Wholewheat tortilla wraps (6)
  • Leeks (7)
  • Green beans (7)
  • Tin of peas (7)
  • Wholewheat pasta (7, 8)

 

Optional extras:

  • Tofu
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Cheese

 

We hope these healthy student meals have inspired you. Let us know if you make any of them, we want photo evidence please! You can also find more recipes in our list of easy and cheap student meals.