Dining Hall Dilemmas
What if I can’t find any food I like?
Be creative. If you don’t like the hot food offered, try to combine foods from different areas of the dining hall. For example, add a grilled chicken breast to a salad or veggies from the salad bar to a sandwich or a wrap. Many colleges have multiple dining halls that may serve different foods and meals. Try all the dining halls to figure out which ones you like best.
Most colleges offer vegetarian entrees at all meals such as veggie burgers, stir fries, and pasta dishes. Create your own vegetarian meal at the salad or sandwich bar by adding protein-rich ingredients like cheese, eggs, hummus, beans, or peanut butter.
What if I have class during meals?
Food is the fuel your brain needs to help you think, so make time to eat. If you skip a meal, you may have trouble concentrating, get a headache, or feel like you didn’t get very much out of your class. Even if you can’t sit down for a full meal, pack a healthy portable snack such as fruit or energy bar, or a sandwich.
How can I maintain good nutrition?
Try to eat a variety of foods and don’t skip meals. To get the most out of your meals, eat a balance of vegetarian proteins or lean meats, high fiber carbs, and healthy fats such as oils, nuts, and fish. The table below provides suggestions of foods to choose at meal times.
|Fried foods||Grilled or baked foods|
|Refined grains (such as white bread and white rice)||Whole grains (such as whole wheat bread and brown rice)|
|Whole milk||Low-fat milk or soy milk|
|French fries||Baked potato or sweet potato|
|Sweetened drinks||Water or seltzer|
|Sweetened desserts (such as cookies, cake, or ice cream)||Fruit|
|Nutrition 101: The Food Groups|
|Food Group||Benefits||Nutrition Tip|
|Dairy & Dairy Substitutes||Build strong bones.||Have a serving of low-fat dairy such as milk, cheese, yogurt, or pudding 3 times a day.|
|Grains||Provide energy for muscles & brain.||Include grains such as rice, pasta, and bread at every meal. Choose whole grain options as often as possible.|
|Fats||Keep you feeling full.||Include some fat such as olive oil, guacamole, nuts, or seeds at every meal.|
|Fruits & Vegetables||Provide vitamins and minerals for healthy skin, hair, nails, and immune system.||Try having at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables such as apples, broccoli, pears, carrots, squash, or salad per day.|
|Proteins||Maintain muscle.||Try having fish, beans, eggs, tofu, peanut butter, chicken, or beef at 2 meals per day.|
Using campus services can also help you maintain good nutrition. If you have any food allergies, food intolerances, or food preferences, talk to your campus food services director. Meet with your college nutritionist if you are experience weight or appetite changes.
Dorm Room Remedies
I have a meal plan, but always get hungry between meals and at night when I’m studying. What should I do?
Keep your room stocked with healthy snacks you can grab when you’re hungry, such as:
- Animal crackers
- Canned fruit
- Energy (or protein) bars
- Fresh fruit
- Granola bars
- High fiber cereal
- Oatmeal (packets)
- Pita bread
- Popcorn (try the single-serving bag)
- Trail Mix
- Tuna fish
If you have a fridge, try:
- Baby carrots and celery
- String cheese
- Yogurt and smoothies
- Water, flavored seltzer waters, and low-fat milk
My friends order late night pizza, calzones, and wings. What should I do?
Don’t deny yourself food if you are craving it, but don’t over indulge either. Healthy eating is about moderation! If you eat regular meals throughout the day, you may still be a little hungry at night, so it is okay to eat a regular portion of these foods, such 1 or 2 slices of pizza, every once in a while.
Top 5 Healthy Eating Tips
- Make Time for Meals
Eating 3 meals per day plus snacks will give you energy that will last all day and keep your metabolism active. Pack healthy portable snacks such as fruit or a granola bar when you’re on the go.
- Balance Your Meals
Eating healthy meals that contain foods from at least 3 different food groups will help to ensure that you get all the nutrition you need to stay healthy. Be sure to eat different combinations of grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, and healthy fats throughout the day.
- Don’t forget Dairy
Your bones still need calcium to stay strong. Dairy foods and alternatives such as soymilk provide protein and vitamin D, as well as calcium.
- Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration is important for healthy skin and organs. Drink water even if you are not thirsty. Waiting until you are thirsty to have fluids means you are already partially dehydrated. Pack a bottle of water in your backpack or gym bag.
- Choose Appropriate Portions
Food portions in restaurants are often more than one serving size and they’re getting bigger and bigger. You may not realize how much food you are actually eating. When you are at a restaurant, plan on taking half of your meal home or spilt an entrée with a friend. When eating at the dining hall, take smaller portions to start and go back for more if you are still hungry.
Top 5 Ways to Include Fitness in College Life
- Walk or Bike to Class: Be active on the way to class instead of taking the bus or car.
- Join an Intramural Sport: This is a fun way to meet new people and fit in exercise, too.
- Go for a Walk with Friends: Stay fit and catch up with friends at the same time. Instead of taking a shortcut back to your dorm, take the scenic route and get in a little extra exercise
- Take a Fitness Class as a Course: This is a good way to include fitness into your routine and earn credit. Consider weight lifting or dancing.
- Check out your College Gym: Most colleges have gyms or fitness centers that offer free or reduced price memberships. They may also offer classes such as yoga, cardio, kickboxing, and dancing.
Eating well and staying fit at college doesn’t have to be a challenge. Remember to balance nutritious foods and exercise regularly.
Remember that the body God gave you was to help in achieving specific things concerning your destiny. It’s your responsibility to take good care of it and make the most of it by means of eating healthy. 🙂