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Breakfasts for College Students that are Both Cheap and Healthy


First Things First

The person requesting ideas for cheap and healthy breakfasts for college students didn't mention what kind of cooking appliances and/or equipment they have access to. In this article I am going to assume that readers have at least regular access to a refrigerator, a microwave, a toaster, and either a hotplate/hotpot or a regular stove.

Secondly, I am not a fan of cold cereals, breakfast bars, premixed breakfast shakes, and other "convenience foods". If you like them, by all means, eat/drink them, but they aren't what I consider to be healthy, whole foods. I also don't think that they are very filling. My breakfast ideas all require some cooking/preparation, but I will suggest ways in which you can make these foods ahead of time so that they will take only a few minutes (if that) to prepare in the morning.

Breakfast in a Bowl

My favorite breakfasts tend to be based on whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice. Incidentally, I thought I disliked oatmeal until I tried the steel-cut variety, so if your only experience of oatmeal is either instant or rolled "quick" oats, you owe it to yourself to try steel cut oats, which have a much more pleasing texture when cooked.

Of course, dry, steel-cut oats take a bit more time to prepare, but that is okay because you can prepare a large batch of oatmeal ahead of time, and pour it into a loaf pan. Cover the loaf pan and stick it into your refrigerator: Whenever you want some oatmeal, take a spatula and cut off a slice. Heat it up on the stove (you may want to add a little water if it is very dry), add a pat of butter and some nuts and/or some sweetening such as molasses, brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup, and you have a delicious, filling breakfast. For even faster preparation, when you make the big batch of oatmeal, pack it into individual containers that you can either heat up at home or take to work.

A great alternative to oatmeal (and my favorite breakfast) is brown rice. While cooking rice can be tricky, it is now possible to buy pre-cooked, frozen brown rice. Just heat and serve. In the mornings, I like to add a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil and a tablespoon of ground flax seed to my brown rice. If that doesn't suit you, try a pat of butter, some brown sugar, and slivered almonds. Get creative: While relatively bland, brown rice does have a nice nutty taste and hearty texture, making it an excellent, customizable, breakfast food.

Another great "bowl breakfast" is yogurt. Get some good plain yogurt and add some fruit and/or nuts and honey. If you can get some freshly made granola (make it yourself or get it from a local producer), mix it with the fruit and yogurt. Delicious and filling!


The quickest and most convienent way to eat an egg is if it has been hard boiled. You can boil a few eggs at a time and keep them in your refrigerator: They make a satisfying and nutritious breakfast. (Be sure to consume them within a week of boiling them!)

You can, of course, always scramble or fry an egg or two. In fact, if you have already made some oatmeal, you can make a "pancake" of sorts: Just take an egg, beat it well, and mix it with a serving of oatmeal. Add some butter to a skillet, and fry like pancakes. Top with molasses or maple syrup.

Or, if you enjoy brown rice for breakfast, why not top it with a gently fried egg? If you like spicy food, add some pepper sauce for some extra kick.

How to "Peel" Hard Boiled Eggs Without "Peeling"

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Portable fruit, such as an apple or a banana, can be a great quick breakfast when you are on the run. Berries can be made portable by just putting them into a bag from which you can snack as you walk across campus.

In the middle of a heat wave? Take some grapes and freeze them. They will be a refreshing treat in the morning.

If you have a blender, you can make a fruit smoothie in lieu of a "solid food" breakfast.

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Breads and Breakfast Sandwiches

At breakfast, avoid white flour products and instead select whole grain bagels, rolls, and breads. Not only are whole grain products better for you, but they are more satisfying and will stave off hunger longer than refined breadstuffs.

Get some soft cheese (brie is nice) and spread it on bread or even a bagel. Far more interesting than plain cream cheese. In the wintertime, a simple grilled cheese sandwich is comforting before going out to face the cold.

Like nuts? Get some nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, etc) and spread it on toast. (Incidentally, a breakfast sandwich made of toast, peanut butter, and bacon is really, really tasty.)

Tortillas make great breakfast wraps. Stuff a tortilla with scrambled eggs (and perhaps some bacon or grilled mushrooms), toss some shredded cheese on top, and eat. Yummy!


Fareehaarif on December 05, 2010:

It is really use full thanks for...

Lainie Petersen (author) from Chicago on August 15, 2008:

Bright Sorcerer,

Thanks for stopping by. I really do encourage you to give steel cut oats a try...light years away from instant oatmeal!

bright_sorcerer from London, Canada on August 15, 2008:

I think I've eaten enough oatmeal over the years to keep Quaker Oats Being a bachelor, of course I've never heard of steel-cut oats but hubs like this expose me to new things and that's seldom a bad thing. Some great ideas here...thanks for sharing them.

A really well-writtten hub.


quensday from New York on July 27, 2008:

Thanks for the advice! I have a refrigerator, microwave and a hotplate. A lot of people suggested oatmeal, and I think I'll try it :)

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