Lesson Tutor : Dorm Diet

The Perfect Pantry Series
 Dorm Preparation
Joanne Mikola

Development of cooking skills begins as soon as your child is old enough to understand that what you are doing in the kitchen his for her/his benefit. Once they start tasting and enjoying foods that do not require adding ketchup, you, too, are sure to venture beyond bland, bulk finger foods. To help you and your college bound teenager adjust to dorm living, we have compiled a list of foodstuffs that are sure to sustain  them until they come home to visit or find the local grocery store, sometime around Thanksgiving.

Key points:

1. Buy with longevity in mind. The impromptu parties and pizza/wing nights seem to become    more and more frequent as time passes and the student makes new acquaintances.
2. Single servings;
3. Quick to prepare;
4. Uses one or two pots or pans at the most
5. Not stored in a common freezer or refrigerator, regardless of labeling, for fear of theft or “borrowing”.
6. Even if a pre-arranged meal plan has been chosen for the year or semester, the chart below will still be necessary for on-hand foodstuffs for all night study sessions, breakfast before the cafeteria opens and weekend limited access. All institution food in no way tastes like mom’s.
7. Not all dorms have full kitchen facilities available for student use. Check out what is available e.g. microwave only, no stove/oven, bar fridge in individual rooms only.

As the need for adventure develops, so will the shelf contents. Start with brand names you know (Because Mom uses them, they must be good) and when money is more accessible, try different brands. The wastage factor of trial and error can be costly! Please note, we have tried to limit the junk… I mean empty calorie selections that can take up more space than is available.

Most physically active, teenage males, for example, will require the larger number of servings listed below in all food groups. Sedentary, petite females, for another example, may only need the lower range of servings per day. Use your weight stability, gain or loss as indicators of the need for change.

Food Group Spice Shelf Closet / Pantry Refrigerator Freezer

Grain Products 
5-12 servings a day
. Dry cereal
Macaroni and 
granola bars
instant oatmeal 

Fruit & Vegetables
5-10 servings a day
. (tomato) soup
raisins, dried 
orange juice
baby carrots
wine (grapes, right?)
Milk Products
2-4 servings/day
. . milk

Meat and Alternatives

   2-3 servings/day

. peanut butter
microwave bacon
pork and beans
eggs .
coffee whitener
granulated sugar
garlic powder
Magic Pantry® 
case of pop
case of water
butter or margarine
 jelly or jam


Survival cookbook  e.g. “How to boil Water”
Gift certificates or a part time job at a favorite restaurant
Care packages will always be welcome, especially during high stress times like exams. 
Tools and supplies-bowl
– 1 -2 sets of cutlery (Knife, 
  fork, spoon)
-wooden spoon
-potato peeler
-paring/utility knife
-bottle and can opener
-Dish soap
-dish cloth and tea towel
-Vinegar– kettle
– medium pot with lid
-frying pan or griddle
-ovenproof /microwave 
   casserole   dish with lid
cheese grateroptional – toaster oven where fire regulations permit

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