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DawnM
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My son has early classes at college and isn't eating breakfast.  He was taking granola bars for a while but ran out of them.

 

A couple  of days ago he passed out.  The EMTs came and took some blood and said his blood sugars were low.  He was embarrassed, but fine.

 

He will have a freezer and microwave, so perishable is fine too, frozen even better (or non-perishable, but no prep or he wont' do it other than pouring cereal and milk in a bowl  :laugh:   Seriously, don't even suggest it, he won't do it.)

 

Easy/fast/grab/go

 

Suggestions?

 

ETA:  He does not have a car or drive.  The only access he will have to a grocery store is the one small convenience store on the corner of campus unless he has a ride or unless we go visit (about every 5 weeks or so.)

Edited by DawnM
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Protein shakes (whey powder + milk, shake and go)

PBJ sandwich (these can be made and frozen or I think even bought frozen for a ridiculous price)

Cheese and crackers 

Pre-made tuna salad (Prep work every 3-4 days)

Microwave quesadilla- throw some pre-grated cheese and some salsa into a tortilla, fold in half, microwave 30s.  

I have been known to just cut off a big hunk of butter and wrap it in a tortilla and eat it cold...  

 

This is probably too much prep, but heating a Jimmy Dean type pre-cooked sausage patty in the micro while toasting an English muffin, throw in a slice of kraft cheese, then boom, breakfast sandwich.  

 

I had hypoglycemia through college and it's a PITA.  He really needs all three macronutrients with his breakfast to avoid a crash, so encourage him not to neglect protein and fat.  

 

 

 

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Most stores have tons of frozen breakfast sandwiches or breakfast pockets or breakfast tacos.  Those would be easy.

 

When I was in college, I kept nonfat dry milk powder and packets of instant breakfast to use, mixed with water, for an easy breakfast.

 

But I would far have preferred frozen breakfast sandwiches.

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Hard boiled eggs. If he really can’t take (or doesn’t have any stove access — we had microfridges in our rooms but a real kitchen for common use) half an hour every week or so to make them on a stove, he can buy them premade.

 

Frozen breakfast sandwiches, frozen precooked sausage patties.

 

Microwaveable oatmeal.

 

A PB sandwich really isn’t harder than pouring milk in cereal.

 

Cheese sticks

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My “emergency rations†for low blood sugar were all junk food; chocolate bars, kit kit, instant coffee in a can, Coca Cola, M&Ms fun size packs. When I know I am going to faint due to low blood sugar and don’t have any food available, it’s a pack of sugar (the small prepackaged sugar for coffee) and water cooler water.

 

Prepackaged jerky packs works for me for dumping in my backpack as emergency rations when I was in school and college. My teachers let me eat in class as long as I do it discreetly.

 

He now knows what happens when he doesn't eat. He'll go get more.

I didn’t and nearly pass out from kindergarten to postgraduate.

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I am on the road a lot. I take hard boiled eggs (mostly the egg white) in mason jars with some cubed bread that I cut up.

Having a baggie full of almonds with some cubed cheese is helpful as well.

 

If he can sit down and actually eat with utensils, there are "ready soup bowls." Just add hot water, wait a minute and stir.

When he does not want anything hot, perhaps yogurt with granola.

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Hard boiled eggs

 

Protein-heavy breakfast bar  (I know others have mentioned granola bars, but those are often carb-heavy and overly sweetened.  I'd suggest a high-protein, all-natural, fruit sweetened bar instead.)  You can order different ones on Amazon, and even get a "subscription" for them so they're sent in regular intervals automatically.

 

 

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Nuts - If pouring a portion into sandwich bag is too much trouble, he can buy boxes of pre-portioned bags. 

Trail mix - ditto

 

Peanut butter and a spoon 

A bag of mini-bagels and cheese, pre-cooked meats, or nut butter - make into sandwiches, wrap and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or freeze for longer storage.

If he has access to a kitchen, he could scramble some eggs, wrap in tortillas, and freeze.  These thaw quickly in a microwave or in a pinch can be eaten frozen.

 

V-8 juice

Cheese sticks

Jerky or pepperoni slices

Any pre-cooked meat

Pre-packaged cheese or peanut butter crackers - not healthy but better than fainting

Fruit or applesauce cup

Yogurt

Can of baked beans

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My son has early classes at college and isn't eating breakfast. He was taking granola bars for a while but ran out of them.

 

A couple of days ago he passed out. The EMTs came and took some blood and said his blood sugars were low. He was embarrassed, but fine.

 

He will have a freezer and microwave, so perishable is fine too, frozen even better (or non-perishable, but no prep or he wont' do it other than pouring cereal and milk in a bowl :laugh: Seriously, don't even suggest it, he won't do it.)

 

Easy/fast/grab/go

 

Suggestions?

 

ETA: He does not have a car or drive. The only access he will have to a grocery store is the one small convenience store on the corner of campus unless he has a ride or unless we go visit (about every 5 weeks or so.)

Set him up with amazon delivery.

 

Core power is a shelf stable milk based beverage with no caffeine, low sugar and high protein.

My son who travels frequently keeps them on hand for road trips. They are expensive in my mind, but consider it a meal replacement.

 

Otherwise it’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

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What is HE planning to do to manage the problem. You can maybe order and pay for an amazon delivery but he needs to come up with the solution.

 

HE was very good about taking something until he ran out.   After he passed out this week, he made sure and went to breakfast the next day, BUT, their meal plans don't cover 3 meals per day and he doesn't eat much for breakfast, so WE need to make sure he doesn't run out next quarter.

 

This is my son with high functioning Autism.

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Thank you for the suggestions.

 

He does like trail mix and I set him up with a large bag from Costco at the beginning of the quarter.  He has a Rubbermaid container that holds about 6 ounces and he would fill that and take it with him, we will get that again.  He also would take along a granola bar, or an apple, or all of the above.  

 

We will make sure he has the above, but I am thinking he may need something more substantial, which is why I am asking.  And maybe some shelf stable juice containers/boxes.  

 

I tried to get him to rethink the early classes but he says he likes them, so it is more of a grab and go.  Maybe by next year he will take my suggestion of later classes!  :laugh:

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HE was very good about taking something until he ran out. After he passed out this week, he made sure and went to breakfast the next day, BUT, their meal plans don't cover 3 meals per day and he doesn't eat much for breakfast, so WE need to make sure he doesn't run out next quarter.

 

This is my son with high functioning Autism.

That makes a big difference (the HFA). I don't know how meal plans work as we got breakfast and tea but not lunch so usually did eat in the morning. I still think it would be best if he took as much responsibility as possible - is there any possibility of you going shopping together or doing online ordering together or is it too long before you can see him?

 

I must admit though my borderline aspie doesn't sleep well and can't eat as soon as he wakes up so maybe it needs to be something he can eat after is first class or just before.

Edited by kiwik
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I didn’t realize he was away from home. I’ll tell you what we did when dd was away at school and didn’t have access to a nearby grocery store. (The food on campus was priced at $8 for a meal as it was all you can eat, not al a carte so no way was she interested in that).

When we visited we stocked her freezer with ready to heat foods, stocked her fridge with fresh foods, and stocked her pantry with shelf stable stuff. After we left she generally ate the fresh stuff first (yogurt, fresh fruit,hard boiled eggs, etc.) then moved on to the frozen and finally the shelf stable stuff. That way she was making sure the fresh stuff didn’t go bad.

I would encourage him to eat something better than a granola bar for breakfast. Too carby and often too sugary and probably not great for blood sugar.

Using this method we could stock her up for six weeks at a time.

The next year she took more control and found friends with a car and they made their own grocery runs. Your ds might also grow into this responsibility.

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Protein bars are going to be the easiest to stock in large quantities.  Much more expensive than typical granola bars, but they also pack more nutrients.  Personally, I love Naked protein shakes, but they do take up space in the fridge and only last a few weeks.  Shelf stable bottles of other brands or powder to mix probably makes more sense.

 

With the HFA, I'd scout out the convenience store with him and make a list of what will work for a weekly or twice a week trip.  Have him schedule it into his routine.

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Will he drink milk? When you are visiting, you can buy him several crates of individual servings of chocolate, vanilla, or plain milk that are shelf stable. He can put a week's worth in the fridge at a time and have them ready to grab and go. Because they contain protein, they can be a good choice to supplement whatever else he might eat.

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Amazon delivery won't work.  The mail center is over a mile away from his dorm.  The only thing that will work is a convenience type store across the street.  And loading up when we go visit.

DD's campus has dollies students can check out if they need to transport something heavy from the mail center to the dorm.  I would think that there are some things that could be ordered or some things that could be sent in a care package that would not be too heavy to carry across campus.  

 

If the school does not have a 3-meal a day meal plan, what do other students do?  Is there a campus bookstore or cafe where granola bars, protein shakes, etc. can be purchased?  

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DD's campus has dollies students can check out if they need to transport something heavy from the mail center to the dorm.  I would think that there are some things that could be ordered or some things that could be sent in a care package that would not be too heavy to carry across campus.  

 

If the school does not have a 3-meal a day meal plan, what do other students do?  Is there a campus bookstore or cafe where granola bars, protein shakes, etc. can be purchased?  

 

It is literally a little over a mile there and over a mile back.  

 

Students have 2 meals per day, many get up late and have brunch and then dinner.

 

Then they get "dining dollars" that are good for grabbing a bagel or something if you are in the right area of campus.  The campus is several miles long, which can be problematic depending on where your dorm is and where your class is. There are shuttles but they only run certain times.  

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I had another thought, based on the new information.  Colleges typically have vending machines in many buildings.  They often have poptarts or granola bars in them, in addition to the usual candy, chips, and cookies.   Perhaps he could locate the nearest vending machine to his first class each day and have that as a backup?  Some colleges even have maps online of the locations of the vending machines.

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Does his meal plan allow him to take food from the dining hall?  If so, he could take a piece of fruit and/or a roll back to his room each evening. That plus some nuts/nutbutter would make a light breakfast. Otherwise, could he use his "dining dollars" in the afternoon or evening to grap something for the next day?

 

Send your son a list of suggested foods and have him select those that appeal to him.  Have cases of shelf-stable items sent to you.  Pack them in a box and deliver them on your next visit.  Boil a dozen eggs and take them as well.  Take him to the grocery store to shop for frozen foods and 1-2 weeks worth of fresh foods.  If he isn't inclined to gorge, it should last until your next visit.  If not, he could shop the convenience store for the last few days before your visit.

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I walked a mile to and from school or to and from the grocery store when I was in college.  When I went to get groceries, I took a backpack.  Just thinking now, I think you could get ate least something like 100 granola bars in a backpack (I agree to pick high protein ones), so that would be a trip every two months at most.  I did the grocery run twice a week.  A mile is not that far.

 

If you don't think he can walk a mile, you could pay for a taxi to take him to the mail center, wait for him to pick up a couple of months' worth of granola bars, and bring him back.  Depends on location, but most places this would run less than $15.

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I had another thought, based on the new information.  Colleges typically have vending machines in many buildings.  They often have poptarts or granola bars in them, in addition to the usual candy, chips, and cookies.   Perhaps he could locate the nearest vending machine to his first class each day and have that as a backup?  Some colleges even have maps online of the locations of the vending machines.

 

You know what is frustrating?  The campus is pretty much cash free.  Your college card has your meal plan, your dining dollars, and college cash on there.  

 

The soda vending takes college cash and you can scan your card.  The food vending only takes cash.  He almost never carries cash around.  I can tell him to carry it, but 9 times out of 10 he won't have any on him.  Almost none of the students do.  They have their college card and *maybe* a credit card.  

 

Maybe in the future they will make those like the soda machines?

 

Hopefully.

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You know what is frustrating?  The campus is pretty much cash free.  Your college card has your meal plan, your dining dollars, and college cash on there.  

 

The soda vending takes college cash and you can scan your card.  The food vending only takes cash.  He almost never carries cash around.  I can tell him to carry it, but 9 times out of 10 he won't have any on him.  Almost none of the students do.  They have their college card and *maybe* a credit card.  

 

Maybe in the future they will make those like the soda machines?

 

Hopefully.

 

Gosh, that IS frustrating.  Well, maybe he could locate the nearest soda vending machine to his first class, and as a backup, be ready to drink a full sugar soda or Powerade to keep his blood sugar up.  It's not ideal, but it's better than passing out.

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It is literally a little over a mile there and over a mile back.  

 

Students have 2 meals per day, many get up late and have brunch and then dinner.

 

Then they get "dining dollars" that are good for grabbing a bagel or something if you are in the right area of campus.  The campus is several miles long, which can be problematic depending on where your dorm is and where your class is. There are shuttles but they only run certain times.  

It may take a bit of planning but it seems a if he could use his "dining dollars" when he is some place on campus to pick up items to have for breakfast over the next few days.  If the shuttles only run at certain times, then perhaps this needs to be planned when the shuttles are running.  

 

A mile walk across a college campus is really not unusual.  Students easily walk a mile to the bookstore, or library, or cafeteria, or off-campus restaurant, or the recreations center, or to a sporting event when on a college campus.  

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It may take a bit of planning but it seems a if he could use his "dining dollars" when he is some place on campus to pick up items to have for breakfast over the next few days.  If the shuttles only run at certain times, then perhaps this needs to be planned when the shuttles are running.  

 

A mile walk across a college campus is really not unusual.  Students easily walk a mile to the bookstore, or library, or cafeteria, or off-campus restaurant, or the recreations center, or to a sporting event when on a college campus.  

 

It is with an Amazon grocery delivery full box!.....that is what I was talking about.

 

Shuttles run like every 30 min.  His dorm to class, 30 min.  If he has to go to the bagel place in-between, that is over a mile east, but class is over a mile West (so over 2 miles from the bagel place and over 3 miles of walking or waiting for shuttles)......and the shuttles only run every so often.

 

So, get on the bus, go for 20 min. to the bagel place.  Wait 30 min or so for another bus, go 35 min. to class.

 

It really would not be convenient, all for a bagel.  And he really needs something before he even starts waiting for the bus.  All he did the other day was get on the bus, go 25 min. to class, and pass out......

 

The only convenient food place to his dorm uses a full meal swipe (dining hall).

 

Anyway, I was really asking about things he could have on hand, which is why I didn't launch into a full explanation of how his school runs things.

Edited by DawnM
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I walked a mile to and from school or to and from the grocery store when I was in college.  When I went to get groceries, I took a backpack.  Just thinking now, I think you could get ate least something like 100 granola bars in a backpack (I agree to pick high protein ones), so that would be a trip every two months at most.  I did the grocery run twice a week.  A mile is not that far.

 

If you don't think he can walk a mile, you could pay for a taxi to take him to the mail center, wait for him to pick up a couple of months' worth of granola bars, and bring him back.  Depends on location, but most places this would run less than $15.

 

It is not a mile to the grocery store, it is actually over a mile to one of the eating places where he can get a fresh bagel with his dining dollars.  And it is the opposite direction from his class, which is over a mile the opposite way.

 

The grocery store is a good 4 miles away.  There is a convenience store across the street.  He can get stuff there as needed, but it is about double the price of the grocery store, maybe more as they sell things more individually (granola bar $1, etc...).

Edited by DawnM
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That makes a big difference (the HFA). I don't know how meal plans work as we got breakfast and tea but not lunch so usually did eat in the morning. I still think it would be best if he took as much responsibility as possible - is there any possibility of you going shopping together or doing online ordering together or is it too long before you can see him?

 

I must admit though my borderline aspie doesn't sleep well and can't eat as soon as he wakes up so maybe it needs to be something he can eat after is first class or just before.

 

I have picked him up today.  He is home for Spring Break.  I plan to drive him back a week from Sunday and will load him up as much as I can.  I also plan to go down in 2 weeks during MY Spring Break, and I don't know if I will go again before the end of school.   We will see.

 

I really wasn't asking for suggestions on how he could get food, I was mostly asking for suggestions on the actual food.  I am not sure how this turned into me having to explain all the reasons why him getting  his own groceries won't work, but it did.

 

I want to stock him up with frozen foods and shelf stable foods.  

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It is not a mile to the grocery store, it is actually over a mile to one of the eating places where he can get a fresh bagel with his dining dollars.  And it is the opposite direction from his class, which is over a mile the opposite way.

 

The grocery store is a good 4 miles away.  There is a convenience store across the street.  He can get stuff there as needed, but it is about double the price of the grocery store, maybe more as they sell things more individually (granola bar $1, etc...).

 

I'm sorry, I didn't mean for him to go to the grocery store; I thought you said the mail delivery center (where he could pick up an Amazon shipment) was a mile away.  So I was thinking you or he could order 100 granola bars from Amazon, walk a mile any time he has free to get them, and walk back.  Then be set for 2 months or more.

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Oh, I think it turned into that because he seemed more or less okay on the granola bars, but he ran out and I assumed he couldn't figure out how to get more.  (since they were working before, and are generally a convenient and portable source of energy, not to mention relatively cheap).  So I thought the problem must be that he couldn't figure out how to get more granola bars (because they're easier to get than boiled eggs or breakfast sandwiches or burritos, ime).

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Oh, I think it turned into that because he seemed more or less okay on the granola bars, but he ran out and I assumed he couldn't figure out how to get more.  (since they were working before, and are generally a convenient and portable source of energy, not to mention relatively cheap).  So I thought the problem must be that he couldn't figure out how to get more granola bars (because they're easier to get than boiled eggs or breakfast sandwiches or burritos, ime).

 

Ok, that makes sense.  No, he should have gone to the convenience store to get something for a few days but he really didn't think it was a problem until it was a problem.

 

Now I am really encouraging him to make sure he eats and has stuff on hand.

 

I am also looking into a mini fridge with a 2nd door freezer for him to keep in his room that he would't have to share and could just have his stuff.

Edited by DawnM
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Thank you all.

I am going to show him this entire list and see what appeals to him and stock him up.  I can start with a 2 week stock up since I plan to go back to visit 2 weeks in, and then finish stocking him up.

 

And yes, I could prob. do the Amazon for just granola bars if necessary.

 

 

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Can he save things from the meal swipes? I know that in college, I could put 1-2 pieces of fruit from the salad bar on my tray with my salad and entree and it was still just one meal credit. I would then take the two apples and put them in my backpack for a snack later that night or the next morning.

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My ds (not yet in college) has had low blood sugar issues.  He gets shaky, so that stage has always been an alert, and no passing out has happened, as he is a teen now and more likely to blow off his proper precautions, I pray it won't. One of his track teammates passed out while running, and a girl in choir fainted during a performance.

 

Things we have found to help (and that I didn't specifically notice in prior posts) are:

 

1) to travel with him: a supply of nuts, such as tamari almonds which my ds likes, store well, and don't take a lot of space in his back pack for in case needed (like if the day's items get forgotten, the nuts are always there--and you could check the nut supply each time you visit, this would not work if he is nut allergic).  Seaweed snacks, but these take more space.  Beef jerkey. And yes, granola and protein bars.

 

2) at home, in addition to things like frozen pizza and breakfast burritos (We also like Amy's for these) which can be made up the day before and eaten faster than starting from frozen):   

 

Corn chips and hummus.

 

 Organic Prairie Summer Sausage, (is already cooked but does need fridge to store it in) a large slice stuck on a fork can be eaten on the go--expensive, but extremely helpful, and one sausage can provide enough for a few days of breakfast protein/fat part (Organic Prairie also makes meat/fruit/nut combos like industrialized versions of what pemmican Native Americans may have used to sustain themselves while travelling, which I am planning to try next time I make an order from them.  Their pork is on sale this weekend btw, but I think the summer sausage may be beef and not included in the sale.).

 

 Canned Sardines or Kipper snacks alone or with a carb like bread or crackers..give protein, fat, omega-3's... messier and more time consuming than sausage on a fork, but also very helpful, and no refrigeration is needed.  

 

A roast (which maybe you would make and bring to him) can be sliced and a piece of it stuck between bread slices as breakfast--almost certainly healthier than "lunch meat" or maybe than PB&J.  

 

A carb like whole wheat, or a whole apple that has more fiber seems to take longer to digest and gives less spike up of blood sugar followed by a drop later. And making sure there is protein and fat as with the fatty sausage or fish as a starter (or cheese) seems to help hugely. 

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