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16 Foods That Are Only Considered Meals In College

Don't worry, your mom's not here to judge you.

By Madison Jones

The best part about going home for winter break is food. I don’t care if your school made USA Today's top 36 dining halls in america list or not -- all college food is terrible in its own way. And I’m not just talking about the smorgasbord they serve up in your cafeteria, but also the fare you buy at three in the morning from the street trucks.

Don’t worry though -- you’re not alone. We’ve all eaten cold pizza at 2 p.m. and called it breakfast, and we’ve all polished off a whole pie at 10 p.m. and called it dinner. College is the only time you can get away with this, so you might as well enjoy it while you can. Here are 16 foods that you will eventually pass off as a meal in college, if you haven’t already:

  1. Cookie dough

    Sometimes you want cookies, but you’re too lazy to make them. Suddenly you’re on the floor at three in the morning with an empty tube of cookie dough. We’ve all been there.

  2. An entire bag of cheddar goldfish

    Or if you’re really ambitious, a carton of cheddar goldfish. These little devils are portable AND salty -- the perfect combination for a late night library snack or even dinner during finals. Just treat yourself to the biggest breakfast burrito the next morning and your body will forgive you.

  3. Popcorn

    Sure, you were planning to go out on a Friday night, but then you opened Netflix. Suddenly it’s five hours of Friday Night Lights later, and you’re going to need some food. Unfortunately, all the late night eateries are closed because your college is in the middle of nowhere. Always keep a stash of popcorn handy for these situations.

  4. An entire pint of Ben & Jerry's

    If you get the one with peanut butter cups, it’s healthy because it has protein. Right?

  5. Fries, tater tots and/or mozzarella sticks

    There are actually five meals in college: breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner and late night dinner. Late night dinner is always fries, tater tots or mozzarella sticks. Who waits in line for a salad at 1 a.m.?

  6. Nutella

    "I’m just going to have one spoonful of Nutella," said no one ever.

  7. Twinkies

    Sometimes it’s the only snack left in the vending machine when you’re out of meal credits for the week. Don’t worry; the week’s almost over and if you give your notes to Brad in Econ, he’ll definitely swipe you into the dining hall for tomorrow.

  8. Guacamole (chips optional)

    It’s green! And there are fruits AND vegetables in this green paste. Wow, what a time to be alive! Go you. You’re eating healthy. Now put some on your face and you’ve got yourself a relaxing spa night in.

  9. Shredded cheese

    Is this just me? Am I the only one who does this? Sometimes I’m too lazy to make macaroni, OK?

  10. An entire box of cereal

    Dining halls suck, but the best part is all the free cereal. (Well, not free, but it feels like free.) Load up on that stuff. Bring Tupperware to the dining halls and hoard Captain Crunch and Trix in your room. It’s good for snowstorms, and it’s even better for when you can’t muster the energy to put on pants on Sunday morning.

  11. Brownies

    Microwave the brownies in a mug, not in a metal pan -- no one wants the fire alarm going off. Or if you’re lazy like me, you can just make the brownie batter and eat it with a wooden spoon.

  12. Coffee

    Sometimes there are mornings when you miss breakfast and you're not going to get a chance to eat until four, so you have no choice but to show up late to class because there was a really long line at Starbucks. It happens to the best of us. Make sure you get a really big coffee (so much better than the dining hall crap) on these days. Then treat yourself to a big bowl of pasta as soon as you have time.

  13. Energy bars

    They’re so wonderful! So portable! They’re lifesavers when you’re off your meal plan and don’t have time to go home and make something! It has protein! It’s healthy! Well, maybe not when you eat five of them for lunch.

  14. Gummies

    Gummies aren’t filling enough so that you know when to stop. It’s a slippery slope when your friend hands you a package of Sour Patch Watermelon. Soon your tongue is numb and your stomach is gurgling with regret. Suggested remedy: grab some chips or something salty and you’ll be fine. It’s all about the balance.

  15. Chocolate-covered anything

    Sometimes -- OK, all the time -- you just want chocolate. You may delude yourself into thinking that chocolate-covered raisins or almonds are healthy, but they’re not. Just accept it and finish off the box of Raisinets, taking solace in the fact that you’re in college and your mom’s not there to judge you.

  16. Granola

    Like cereal, granola is everywhere in the dining hall and happens to be a perfect snack to carry around with you during the day. Usually the giant baggie you filled up at 9 a.m. is gone by noon, which means you’re going to have to share your Econ notes with Brad again, so he’ll swipe you in for lunch so you can replenish...

    OK, I lied about there being only five meals in college. It's really six: breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, late-night dinner and a continuous meal of granola throughout the day.