Making Healthy Choices in the Dining Hall
No longer having “ home cooked meals”, dining halls can be freshman students’ main source of food. While they can provide a lot of healthy options, they can lend many students to overeat and be a source of weight gain for many.
Healthy practices to use when eating in the dining hall include:
- using smaller plates
- reading menu boards for healthier options
- watching use of higher fat condiments and sauces
- choosing extra fruits and vegetables
- going easy on desserts
- making smart beverage choices (avoiding high-sugar drinks)
- not lingering too long to avoid going back for unnecessary portions.
Check out this site for tips on staying healthy while using on campus dining halls. This site also contains lots of good nutrition information as well as smart shopping tips and recipes.
Healthy Restaurant Choices
Need a break from the dining hall? Eating out is an alternative but can easily be a source of extra calories, excess sodium and fat.
When eating out, limit your consumption of fried foods to about once a week.
Healthier dining out options include:
- grilled chicken sandwiches
- street tacos
- pho dishes
- burrito bowls
Here is a good website with tips on eating out – being aware of calories and healthier choices to maintain good health.
Smart Beverage Choices
It’s important to stay hydrated, but also to limit sugary drinks. Water is the beverage of choice!!
Healthy Beverage Suggestions:
- Water is best!
- Sparkling water
- Low-fat milk
- Limit fruit juices to 8 ounces or 1 cup per day
- Limit soda, sports drinks and energy drinks
Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and too much caffeine can lead to other serious conditions. See attached links for more info!
Rethink Your Drink: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/drinks.html
Adverse effects of Energy Drinks and Excessive Caffeine: Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two “energy shot” drinks. Keep in mind that the actual caffeine content in beverages varies widely, especially among energy drinks . Excess caffeine can lead to cardiovascular issues and even seizures.
Snacks can be an important part of an individual’s routine. In general, try to select snacks that are under 150 calories and avoid snacking throughout the day.
Healthy snacks include:
- raw veggies and hummus or low-fat dip
- whole grain crackers or pretzels
- trail mix
- low-fat popcorn
- low-fat yogurt
- string cheese
Check out these links for some healthy, easy to store and prepare, dorm room snacks.
Staying Active to Stay Healthy
Nutrition is important and so is staying active. It is recommended that everyone get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Choose activities that you enjoy so you stay motivated.
Some Fitness Ideas include:
- Using on-campus gyms
- Hiking with friends
- Yoga in your dorm room
- Fitness classes
Check out these other ideas:
- Staying Fit on Campus: https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/staying-fit-on-campus/
Other Great Ideas on Staying Healthy and Fit: