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The Takeaway Dilemma for Students

By ResidenceLifeAssistant 21 Feb 2024

In the life of a student, balancing studies, social activities, and self-care often leads to the road of convenience when it comes to meal choices. Takeaway food, with its allure of indulgence and convenience, becomes a frequent guest in this balancing act. Yet, like any guest, it brings both gifts and challenges. Let's explore the pros and cons of relying on takeaway meals from a student's perspective, and offer some healthier, budget-friendly alternatives for those times when the kitchen becomes your dining venue of choice.

The Upside of Takeaway Food

1. Indulgence and Variety: After a long week of lectures, assignments, and exams, takeaway food serves as a delicious treat. The vast array of options means you can travel the culinary world from the comfort of your dorm room, experiencing everything from spicy Thai curries to authentic Italian pizzas.

2. A Social Catalyst: Takeaway meals often become the centerpiece of social gatherings among students. They offer a chance to unwind, share stories, and create memories over shared meals without the hassle of cooking and cleaning.

3. No Cooking, No Cleaning: For students cramped in time and space, the convenience of not having to cook or do the dishes is a significant relief. It allows more time to be allocated to studying, leisure, or rest.

a bunch of food on a plate on a table

The Downside of Takeaway Food

1. The Health Factor: Frequent consumption of takeaway food, especially if it leans towards fast food, can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Many such meals are high in calories, fats, and sodium, with little nutritional value, contributing to potential long-term health issues.

2. Cost Over Time: While a takeaway meal might seem reasonably priced, regular indulgence can quickly become a financial drain, especially for students managing tight budgets.

3. Missed Learning Opportunities: Relying too much on prepared food can mean missing out on learning essential life skills like cooking. Preparing your meals not only teaches you how to cook but also how to manage resources, plan meals, and appreciate the effort behind every dish.

Healthier and Cheaper Takeaway Alternatives

Recognising the downsides doesn't mean forsaking the convenience and pleasure of takeaway meals. Instead, it's about finding a balance. Here are some recipes that are not only healthier but also kinder to your student budget:

1. Homemade Veggie Pizza:

Use whole wheat pita bread as your base, top it with tomato sauce, your favourite vegetables, and a sprinkle of cheese. Bake until crispy for a quick, healthier alternative to traditional pizza.

a pizza sitting on top of a wooden cutting board

2. DIY Chicken Burrito Bowls:

 Cook some rice, grill or pan-fry chicken breast seasoned with taco spices, and top with black beans, corn, chopped tomatoes, and avocado for a filling and nutritious meal.

a bunch of different types of food

3. Quick Asian Stir-Fry:

Stir-fry your choice of vegetables and tofu (or chicken) with a dash of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Serve over a bed of brown rice or noodles for a fast, tasty dish that beats any takeaway stir-fry.

a bowl of food with broccoli

By incorporating these recipes into your meal rotation, you can enjoy the essence of takeaway food—convenience and taste—without sacrificing your health or wallet. The key is moderation and making informed choices that align with your lifestyle and goals. 

Check out this healthy and affordable recipe by Reslife!