As graduating high school seniors prepare for the next chapter of their lives, parents are also preparing. From college finances to changes in family dynamics, many mothers are coping to prepare not only their high school senior to move into college but also preparing themselves for the transition at home.
One area in which mothers can assist the graduating high school senior in the transition to college is in the area of nutrition. For many incoming college freshman, the “freshman 15” is a growing phenomenon in which the average student will gain 15 pounds in the first few months of school. Most often, this is attributed to not only the added stress of school but also the varied school and work schedule our children maintain which impairs the ability to enjoy even one regular healthy meal per day.
To assist your college freshman, consider providing care packages with healthy food selections to be used especially during periods when your college student will be studying for exam and finals. Statistically, it is during these periods that college freshman will become most anxious and stressed, often studying through the night and eating foods high in salt. Unhealthy eating is common and adds to the extra pounds during the first few months of college.
To prepare a care package for your college age child, pack healthy foods that promote energy and brain power. Such foods might include baby carrots, almonds, semi-sweet chocolate chips and even apples and pears. While these items are generally available on campus, many college students will opt to find chips, pretzels and soft drinks, sold in 24 hour convenience stores. As a mom, providing these alternatives, in advance of test week, will work to ensure your college student is prepared with brain food.
Another way to assist your college student in packing on the pounds is to provide other activities they can enjoy when alone and board. For many college students, boredom can lead to eating high caloric foods. Supplying alternative activities, such as crossword puzzles, knitting supplies and even a deck of cards can provide your college student with activities that will pre-occupy the time away from needless consumption of food.
As with any transition in lifestyle, preparing our graduating high school seniors in the next phase of their lives is crucial to healthy outcomes. This includes, among all of the dynamics of college, a good foundation in nutrition. To ensure your child is given every opportunity to make wise food choices, especially during high stress periods, consider supplying these brain power foods and activities.