The Strength of the Wolf is in the Snack
Most students do their best to make healthy choices in their day-to-day lives, but, convenience is key for study snacks during exam weeks. Unfortunately, the most convenient snack option is very rarely the most well-balanced.
Lauren Smith, NC State’s Director of Nutrition and Wellness, noticed this problem with students’ study snacks and took charge to pilot an exam-week snack station, titled The Strength of the Wolf is the Snack. “The concept was a ready-to-go snack station where students could quickly get predetermined healthy snacks that could be assembled quickly or were already assembled.”
Every day during exams, the “brain food bar” filled an empty space in Fountain Dining Hall, making it entirely in addition to the daily menu and easily accessible when students were already there to grab lunch. Students were given a plastic container to fill up with the base snack and then got to choose toppings or pairings to go along with it. Each day had a different menu which included fats, protein, and carbs. The daily menus included: a hummus bar, a cheese and fruit bar, a make-your-own yogurt parfait station, a protein salad bar, and a DIY bento box bar.
The Strength of the Wolf is the Snack also sought to highlight the nutritional component of the snack bar and why macronutrients are important when building a snack. A more well-balanced snack can sustain students for longer and fill them up with food that will help them remain focused while studying, not induce a sugar crash shortly after. Smith says it was “very intentional,” which snacks they chose for the bar, as they hoped to show students that “well-balanced snacks can be just as delicious and accessible during exams.”
Overall, the event was a great success for students, and Smith is hopeful that The Strength of the Wolf is the Snack can be a recurring event to help students remain fueled and focused during exams.