Finding healthy options in the dining centers does not have to be a challenge! Start simple by finding a balance between the following food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. To visualize proper portions on a plate, follow the USDA’s MyPlate guideline:
Tips for Making Healthier Choices in the Dining Centers
- Menus are posted in advance- look at the options before choosing a dining center
- The buffet-style dining centers can cause students to overload their plates and lead to over-eating or food waste. Take the adequate portion sizes and feel free to go back in line if still hungry
- Are you hungry or thirsty? Sometimes thirst can disguise itself as hunger, make sure you are drinking adequate amounts of fluids with your meal
- Consider what you are drinking as well as eating- Substitute a sugar-sweetened beverage with water to cut down on sugar intake and decrease calorie consumption
- Following the MyPlate guidelines- make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Add fruit and vegetables to entrees offered in the dining centers. For example, adding additional steamed veggies to pasta dishes, sandwich or wraps, and soups, or pineapple to pizza
- Make half of your grains whole- choose oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and cereal in the dining centers
- Be mindful of the sauces- condiments add additional calories and are typically high in fat and sodium
- Mealtimes may be used as a time to socialize with friends or catch up on homework. It is tempting to stay in the buffet-style types of dining centers longer because of the option to for back in line for more food; however, when staying in the dining centers for longer periods of time be mindful of hunger cues and resist the urge to over-eat out of boredom or convenience
If you have a medical condition or special dietary needs please contact the Nutrition Graduate Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 581-7687 for assistance.
For additional information on healthy eating and guidelines, please check out the following resources.
To find nutrition information for the national brands we serve, visit these websites: