Jump to content

Ideas for on the go breakfast and lunch for dance college students


Recommended Posts


I am hoping you lovely people can give me some suggestions that I can pass onto DD.


DD just started BA Dance degree.  Staying in Halls 40-50 mins bus journey away.  No kitchen facilities at studio, so she can’t refrigerate or microwave any food.  Unfortunately  she is a fairly pick eater, and prefers hot food which is not an option.

Some days there won’t be time to pop to a cafe or shop to buy food for lunch.  She is up early for the bus, and needs to get hair prepped for ballet. She is also very tired in the mornings and is not leaving herself enough time for breakfast.  A recipe for disaster.


Can you suggest healthy on the go breakfast and lunch foods?  Nut free studio, which takes away some good options.


So far I have come up with


(She eats dry cereal in her room)

Bring a yogurt or yogurt drink on the bus.  Or a baby bell.




- Crackers & Hummus

- Crackers & Cheese

- Baby Bel cheese & fruit

- Ham Roll/wrap 

- Pasta Salad 

- Preprepared, cold Chicken or Ham quesadillas (ok to leave out of fridge for several hours?)


Unfortunately she hates bananas and oatmeal.  


I too prefer hot food, and I am struggling to think of on the go, cold options.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

A pity your DD doesn’t like bananas!! My breakfast this morning on the No.19 bus going to Silver Swans class ( so admittedly am an oldie) was a banana and a Kefir yoghurt drink! 
I often pass cafes in Islington where people are having morning coffee and Croissants or fuller breakfasts  and I fantasise about leaving an hour earlier and having a proper and relaxing breakfast one of these days!! 
But I always seem pushed for time hence the default bus breakfast but it does seem to get me through the class okay. 
When I’m at home I often just have porridge which gets me through Saturday morning class!! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Overnight oats prep in a jam jar and take on bus.

Greek natural yogurt, oats/granola/muesli, fruit & honey - bung in a Tupperware 

Fruit smoothie - freeze some chunks of banana and blend with strawberries & milk - take in a portable cup / mug

Fruit muffins - make a batch and keep in tin then can grab one on way out of door in morning 

Get a breadmaker and set the timer to wake up to fresh brown bread - I have it toasted with butter & honey - wrap in foil for bus



Buy a salad from M&S or wherever and have it with can of tuna/pack of prawns/cooked chicken breast/cottage cheese/hard boiled eggs (can be cooked in am whilst in shower and taken in Tupperware), mini babybels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favourite lunch snack between classes on Tuesdays ( in London) is to go to Itsu and have their salmon rice and green bean pack. If it’s especially cold I will go for their hot vegetable dumplings in a sort of soup. 

Breakfast on Tuesdays is usually an egg and cress sandwich from Pret ( or egg and tomato / cheese plus from M&S) on Brighton station for the train journey up to London. If especially hungry will add a Pret porridge too which is surprisingly nice! 
I realise these are not cheap options but are not daily regimes just when travelling etc. 

It’s strange how when you really love a food item say like bananas you can’t imagine how others really dislike them! 
Another sort of snackett I used to like for ballet Rep days but don’t know whether you can still get them are those little boxes of nuts and raisins. These with a few grapes and a yoghurt drink could get me through a day as am not often that hungry when actually exercising but eat properly at the end of the day. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just wondering if your dd has time to heat some soup and put it in a flask?

There are some reasonably healthy ready made soups out there and she could add microwave noodles which take just a minute. If she had time to make some soup over the weekend and freeze it then even better, but that’s maybe pushing it. There are plenty squat flasks suitable for rice ( 2 minutes in microwave) which she could add chicken or salmon, edamame and soy sauce. Would give her something hot during the winter.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can reccommend Thermos food flasks for keeping food warm for lunch. My dd goes to vocational school but there are no lunch facilities, the school recommends all students invest in hot food flasks and I have to say the kids love it. I usually make extra food for evening meals which can be chilled in smalls portions overnight then heated in microwave every morning. The flask is pretty good at keeping food warm enough to feel like a hot lunch. Its usually someing involving pasta or rice and this makes it easier. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also a hot food person, and I have a thermos for lunches on days with no kitchen facilities and it works really well. The food does need to be heated as close to leaving the house as possible though, because the thermos does not keep it warm forever. I've used it for soup and for curries and similar. In a pinch, wrapping a lot of tin foil around a tupperware containing hot food and popping in an insulated bag also works.


For keeping food cold, could she use an insulated lunch bag and stick an ice pack in there?


Instant rice can be eaten cold without cooking it first, if she likes rice. You can make a quick and easy tuna (or any other type of temperature safe protein) rice salad etc. I also went through a phase of baking a few sweet potatoes in advance, and then adding sweet potato mash to my lunches over the next few days. Flatbreads etc. with lots of toppings/fillings would also work.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all!  

I will pass on those suggestions to her.   She will have to move out of her food comfort zone, what better time to do so than when she is at college!


It sounds like breakfast on the bus is a good way to go.  She hadn’t realised that was allowed.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do they have a kettle at the studios? Could she take instant noodles/cup a soup/ instant pasta things?  Non dancing DS, but at Uni, used to make these up in a hot flask in the morning for his lunch. 


DD has also started a dance degree, but usually makes a packed lunch the night before to take with her/goes home for lunch. 


I have no idea what she does for breakfast! She has never really been a breakfast person, and also times things to the last minute, not often thinking about eating! I would second taking something to eat on the bus for your DD. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes Thermos / Stanley flasks are a great investment, the shorter wide topped ones very versatile.


Hot porridge with fruit puree (baby food useful here) for breakfasts, or granola with added nuts and a banana, can be eaten while travelling.



Lunchtime soup, all major supermarkets do their own tinned which are far less expensive than 'branded'. Veg & lentil, veg & bean, both give protein and will stay hot enough in a flask. Oatcakes a good addition.


You can buy pouches of chilli, curry, pasta etc which can be microwaved in the morning quickly & decanted into a flask. A wholemeal pitta is easy to add and pack.




Fiid https://www.eatfiid.com/


and Ben's Plant Powered good too. I'm sure there are others.




Edited by Ondine
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, MCOS said:

Unfortunately she hates bananas and oatmeal.

 I missed that part...  sorry!


So trad breakfast porridge / granola* with banana not an option. Though neither of those are raw oats, and both very nutritious. Oatcakes worth a try though, or rice cakes, or Ryvita type crackers, the ones with seeds, not the trad ones!  Quick and easy. Yogurt (plant based are good, or trad) and fruit, a plain yog with added blueberries or rasberries far better than ready made ones with sugar.  Packs of frozen fruit are very cheap. Nuts too, flaked almonds won't crack teeth, and seeds.


*Oat free granola is a thing, here's one recipe. 




Also oat free porridge.




Though possibly those are not everyone's taste.


Muffins of course, though those take some planning & cooking they can be veg or fruit and will keep a day or two. Very simple to make.  Can be vegan or trad.









Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those flasks and bottles are lovely and stylish and good for the planet, also support two very good causes.


We’re helping others

Whilst accelerating this change in the world, we support two causes close to our hearts:

Mary’s Meals, a truly amazing charity who help provide a daily meal for children in need. We sponsor two entire schools in Liberia and help feed and educate over 800 children a year!

And secondly, the SeaLife Centre local to us in Hunstanton, Norfolk, where we sponsor a seal pen, helping to rehabilitate seals on the North Norfolk coast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Breakfast - 

  • not all breakfast cereals are made equal - weetabix gives you a big bang for your buck and is quick and is easy to eat if you put milk on it (if she can keep milk and can stomach it in the morning - not everyone can)
  • yoghurts are great, either on the go or before you leave home (that was my 'go to' breakfast and uni
  • cereal bars - can be eaten anytime, anywhere.
  • croissant / pain au chocolat - you can buy pre-packed, long life versions from many supermarkets and they are surprisingly good
  • Any fruit - things like clementines are great because they come in their own packag
  • Bread/crackers with marmite - if she can eat marmite
  • A bread roll with butter and maybe jam or cheese ...can be eaten on the bus or at break time.

Lunch -

  • it seems like you already have a really good selection on your list. The only thing I would add is marmite (if she likes that sort of thing) and maybe different cheese options, although babybel is a great, convenient option.
  • If she has access to a kettle or any hot water (even via a local friendly café or thermos) I would suggest instant noodles.  I think my dd lived on instant noodles when she first went to dance school at 16.  OK - it's not the most nutritious lunch - but if that can give her the 'hot food' fix, she could supplement with cheese, fruit and cold meat to make it more balanced.  If she is in a big city she will be able to buy instant noodles cheaply from asian supermarkets (or slightly more pricey from a regular supermarket).

In my experience, anything which requires preparation time won't work right now, she's just too tired at the moment for that. Try to keep it easy and simple. 


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My own personal crusade.


Wholegrain  / wholewheat versions of any food are far better and more nutritious than those using using white flour. Brown rice better than white.



Sugar, too,  is best in moderation. 


A quick rush followed by a long down in energy isn't what dancers need.


Also, ultra processed foods... Read the labels. 





There's plenty of advice out there on nutrition for dancers. 




For £5 there's this too.  I haven't paid my fiver so can't say what it's like but it could be worth a punt. Royal Ballet School.











Edited by Ondine
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all! 
Loads of ideas here for her to try. 

It sounds like breakfast on the bus is a good way to go.  She hadn’t realised that was allowed.  


I am going to try some of the ideas myself, I will be spending more days in the office now that Mom the taxi driver won’t be required so much. 


Thanks again!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Weetabix also comes in an oat version,  Oatibix, though as with Weetabix it does have some very small amount of sugar and salt it has OATS which are really good for you! Doesn't taste like porridge. Both are lovely with blueberries or chopped apple or fruit puree. As I said above, frozen bags of fruit are great value (try Aldi) and can be defrosted as and when needed.




Plant milks... not as many nutrients as cow's milk but for those who don't do dairy they are good, soya is the one with the protein. Just read the label and don't buy those with loads of additives.  You can make your own if you're worried about the food miles of say, nut milk.   Oat milk again...  is fine, doesn't taste of porridge.


For anyone with a little time, home made soup is really easy to make and keeps in the fridge for a few days, longer in a freezer of course. Use bags of frozen mixed veg, cost is minimal,  an onion sweated in a little oil first,  celery is good, red lentils and or beans from a tin, peas, all for protein,  cheap tinned toms, herbs, ready made stock (Marigold in a tub recommended).  A hand held stick blender is £7.50  from Tesco.  Hot, nutritious.  A soup maker is great if the finances can stretch to it.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...