Dining halls are a hit or miss. Sometimes their hours are outrageously early, sometimes they are so bumpin' you can't stop eating and sometimes you just get tired of what they have to offer.
At my university, I live in a suite style dorm where four of us have our own bedrooms. There are two bathrooms, a living area and a full kitchen. It would be pretty ridiculous to eat at the dining hall all the time, so I'm kind of an expert on breakfast in bed and breakfast on the go. I could also be in the running for Worst Cooks in America, so simplicity is a major key when it comes to keeping myself fed and watered.
I've created a list of my favorite breakfast products and ideas to help all of you learning to be sufficient in the kitchen alongside myself. I picked all of these up from Target (or my mom's house), but I'm sure most of these items are available at any other grocery store for the same price or cheaper!
Note: most or all of these things have been made better by chocolate chips or a glass of milk.
1. BelVita Biscuits
These are THE BEST. BelVita biscuits come in a bunch of different flavors and sizes, but the chocolate ones always seem to make life a little better. The first time I tried them was actually on a plane, and I've been a fan ever since. They are also packed with iron and Vitamin B, so you will be filled with healthy energy to begin your day.
Sometimes my breakfast is a banana and a cookie, but I know fruit deserves a better system. Whether it's dried fruit (mangoes are my fav), fruit salad, smoothies or yogurt, fruit is always a sweet start to the day. It's also interchangeable with the seasons, so it will always be an option.
These should be called BAEgels. Grab a dozen at a local bakery or a pack at the store and have these babies on hand every week. While they can be used for sandwiches at any meal of the day, breakfast is their time to shine. Toasted with cream cheese or smeared with Nutella and topped with strawberries, bagels are the circle of life.
Betty Crocker makes these fast and easy muffins that come in a variety of flavors, but they require an oven. While they are definitely worth it, they may not be the best for an 8:30 AM Monday class.
These VitaTops muffin tops, on the other hand, are easy to make in dorm room-approved appliances and are either fruity or chocolatey. They are filled with a daily dose of vitamins and are sure to get you off on the right foot.
5. Jimmy Dean Products
We've all seen the commercials. Be a ray of sunshine when breakfast rolls around with their huge array of products. There is almost an entire aisle devoted to Jimmy Dean in the grocery store, but my sister said her college roommate ate these (and loved them) all the time.
You don't have to be in Stranger Things to appreciate a good toaster waffle. These are pretty self-explanatory, but make them your own with fruit, chocolate chips, powdered or cinnamon sugars and a happy helping of Mrs. Butterworth's.
I'm a grandmother, so my favorite is Raisin Bran, but I know you've all been eyeing this aisle for years. Now is the time to make these chocolatey decisions without mom and dad knowing. Just make sure you've got a healthy supply of milk or neighbors who like to share.
8. Kodiak Power Cakes
These are a recent obsession of mine. They are the Easy Mac of pancakes! Just fill to the line with milk and microwave for 30 seconds for a protein-infused breakfast. I always plop in some chocolate chips, but these could easily stand alone. The company also makes full sized recipes and different flavors, if you become a super fan like me.
9. Breakfast Bagel Bites
These are like the pizza products you know and love, but with eggs and bacon, so clear some more space in your mini freezer. Ron Swanson approved.
10. Pop Tarts
I'm not a toaster fan, but I'm definitely a Pop Tart fan. They have the dumbest commercials, come in a million and one flavors and are probably terrible for your health, but they're amazing and necessary. S'mores is defs my favorite.
11. Quaker Oatmeal Cups
I'm not an oatmeal person, but I know lots of people are. These are also Easy Mac-inspired and stocked in many flavors. Especially as the weather gets colder, having a cup of oatmeal in your hands will be a calming and cozy beginning of the day.
Just like all the other breakfast foods, there are an overwhelming amount of yogurt brands, but Chobani is the healthiest and tastiest way to go, in my opinion. I also like to top that off with chocolate flakes, berries or granola. Granola can also be eaten on its own, which passes as a healthy snack during the day on those sleep-in lazy weekends or jam-packed Wednesday afternoons. Bear Naked is my favorite.
Acai bowls are also suuuuper trendy right now (thanks, Instagram), but I don't know how to make them. If you're fancier and more gifted in the kitchen, you can teach me, OK?
College is a time for learning how to take care of yourself, and becoming a regular breakfast-eater is a huge step in the right direction. I find that simplicity works the best for me, and it's always the best idea to buy groceries than a McMuffin on the way to class.
Like Leslie Knope says, "We need to remember what's important in life. Friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends work. Doesn't matter, but work is third."
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