Eating away from home can be fun and exciting or a challenge depending upon how you look at it. Sure, the cafeteria food isn’t going to taste like Mom’s home cooking, and no you won’t be able to order that filet mignon every night, but there are great benefits to having a wide variety of foods to choose from. Like the ability to try new things! Be brave and try new foods - who knows, you might find a new favorite! Plus, it gets boring eating the same thing day after day, so take advantage of the special meals that food services makes new each day.
Eating Healthy in the Dining Hall
- Learn what portion sizes are and stick to the recommended number of servings of each food group per day
- Avoid seconds of high calorie desserts
- Look for broiled, baked, or grilled meats and steamed veggies
- Ask for veggies without butter
- Try fat-free or low-calorie salad dressings
- Use low-fat or non-fat dairy products
- Choose lean cuts of meats and smaller portions
- Drink water or milk instead of soda or sweetened beverages
- Limit fried foods to no more than twice a week
- Take a look around before deciding on what to eat
- When you’re done eating, remove your tray
Why is snacking good for you?
- Healthy snacks are good for you!
- They give you vitamins and nutrients that your body needs.
- Gives you energy and improves concentration.
- Keeps you from overeating at meals or splurging on unhealthy foods.
- Helps control weight and may keep blood cholesterol down.
- Plan ahead. Bring fruit, veggies or other healthy snacks with you.
- Snack consciously. Pay attention to what you’re eating so you won’t overeat. Try snacking without doing anything else.
- Choose nutrient rich foods (fruit, vegetables and whole grains).
- Watch for fat and calories. Read food labels and make sure you’re not eating more fat/calories per serving then you think.
- Space meals and snacks 3-4 hours apart to keep the body fueled.
- Control your portions and monitor the serving size.
- If you’re hungry late at night, don’t ignore it. Choose low-fat, low-calorie foods and eat small portions.
Healthy Snack Choices
- Toast with jelly or peanut butter
- Crackers and low fat cheese
- Crackers with peanut butter
- Yogurt (plain or add extra fruit or granola)
- Fruit: Fresh, canned, frozen – eaten plain
- Fruit with cheese
- Cereal, pretzels
- Raisins or other dried fruits
- Peanut butter and apple slices
- Raw veggies and low fat dip
- Pudding made with low fat milk
- Microwaved low fat popcorn
- Half a bagel with hummus and a slice of tomato
- Sunflower or pumpkin seeds, mixed nuts and dried fruit (watch portions)
- A glass of milk or a yogurt smoothie
- Homemade fruit pops
- Frozen “chips”: Sliced banana, frozen
- Homemade baked tortilla chips
- Pita bread with cheese, hummus, or bean dip
- Mini pizzas on English muffins or a mini pita (just add sauce and some cheese)
- Ants on a log: Celery with peanut butter and raisins
- Rice cake with peanut butter and jelly