Healthy Eating on Campus: The Importance of Making Nutritious Choices as a Student

By: Amanda Banks

With the limited time a university student has, prioritizing nutritious meals is not always at the top of our minds. It’s easy to grab food at any of the convenient fast food options surrounding our campus, but that could be the reason for your fatigue, lack of energy and ability to focus while you’re trying to do work. Maintaining a clear and healthy mind is key to success as a student, and nutrition plays a key role in that. 


Sticking to a regular meal and snacking schedule can also be very difficult when you’re on a time crunch with classes, meetings, and study sessions. The body needs fuel to be productive and function optimally throughout the day. 


For commuter students like myself, staying nourished on long campus days requires a bit of extra planning. By preparing nutritious meals and snacks, I am setting myself up for success academically, physically and mentally during the day. 


I always make sure to bring some sort of fruit/vegetable mix to keep me full and satisfied. A nuts and seeds mix gives me a source of protein and healthy fats. A sandwich or wrap is always my go-to meal option filled with meat, cheeses and vegetables. 


Below are some of my favourite spots near campus if I need to grab something fast; 


Nutritious Options Near Campus 


Freshii- Average Cost: $10-20

Address: 220 Yonge Street (In the Eaton Centre)


Freshii stands out as a fast food option in the campus vicinity offering a diverse menu including salads, wraps, sandwiches, burritos, smoothies and juices. They focus on providing clean ingredients, filling and accessible meals. With their nutrient packed bowls filled with vegetables and proteins, a visit to Freshii will leave you feeling satisfied after. 


Healthy Planet- Average Cost $15-30

Address: 322 Yonge Street 


Recently opened right across from the Student Learning Centre, Healthy Planet is a health based grocery store offering snacks and organic foods. Beyond just a grocery store, they have a to-go counter with wraps, sandwiches, smoothies and soups. I had the opportunity to try the chicken caesar salad wrap a few weeks ago and it was great. They focus on using natural and organic ingredients. This is a great find for clean eating in the heart of downtown. 


Basil Box – Average Cost $15-20

Address: 351 Yonge Street


Right next to the Student Learning Centre, Basil Box offers an innovative build your own bowl concept. You can customize bowls offering bases of rice, noodles or greens, paired with an array of proteins including chicken, tofu and shrimp. The topping options include vegetables, herbs and crunchy toppings like nuts and seeds. The ingredients here are fresh and clean, making for a great mix of health and flavour. My choice is a bowl with chilled rice noodles, sweet potato, edamame, lemongrass chicken, peanut and sriracha sauce and topped with crushed peanuts and crispy onions. They have something for everyone at Basil Box. 


Oakham Cafe- Average Cost $10-$20

Address: 35 Gould Street


Located directly on Gould Street, Oakham Cafe offers a great selection of typical restaurant food, for quite affordable prices. Whether it’s a hearty breakfast choice or one of their many lunch options, with dishes like pastas, salads, sandwiches, and a wide breakfast/brunch menu. They also serve matcha and coffee if you need a boost of energy before a long day. The breakfast sandwiches are a staple and super filling. 


Chipotle- Average Cost $12-20

Address: 323 Yonge Street


Chipotle is a very popular go-to fast food restaurant specializing in Mexican inspired cuisine, offering burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, salads and tortilla chips. With an emphasis on fresh vegetables and protein packed options, they create filling and satisfying meals. Chipotle is convenient as it is satisfying, making it a favourite among students seeking a quick and nutritious meal.


There are many great nutritious food options near TMU’s campus, offering different options and cuisines. Prioritizing nutritious eating as a student, especially during busy times is extremely important and is vital for feeling energized and productive. 

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