We’ve all heard of them before: the “Freshmen 15.” Fifteen pounds that many freshmen students cringe at the gaining. But what’s the reason for this cliche? “Surely,” you will hear students say, “the food cannot be that good.” It is true, many freshmen do eat more than they normally do because eating is much more social, and there are much more opportunities to eat (not necessarily the most nourishing food) with friends.
Fortunately, there are plenty ways around this; however, the decision to eat “right” should not be made on the basis of avoiding the freshmen 15 alone. This article gives some insight on other reasons why eating right at college is key, and it provides helpful tips to achieve the goal of eating right at college.
Your body takes four basic kinds of fuel. These are Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, and Fluids. Your body also requires nourishment from the basic food groups: grains, meat, fruit & vegetables, dairy, and fat. This simple chart will make it easy to find good food wherever your studies take you.
|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.|
|Good Carbs/Grains||Provide energy for muscles & brain and provide fiber||Include grains such as rice, pasta, and bread at every meal. Choose whole grain options as often as possible.|
|Bad Carbs||Won’t fill you up, provide energy only in short spurts, and much more likely to be converted to fat||Foods to avoid: Soft drinks, White Bread, any food containing high fructose corn syrup.|
|Good Fats (Omega-3 fats and unsaturated fats)||Keep you feeling full and perform important body functions like providing energy to your brain and heart||Include some fat such as olive oil, fish, guacamole, nuts, or seeds at every meal.|
|Bad Fats ( saturated and trans fats)||Take extra energy to digest, steal energy from your brain, and readily convert to body fat||Foods to avoid: Fatty meats, Oil and Grease, any food containing hydrogenated oils.|
|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.|
Nutrition and School:
Food is the fuel your brain needs to help you think, so make time to eat. If you skip a meal or don’t drink enough water, you may have trouble concentrating, get a headache, or feel like you didn’t get very much out of your class.
In Your Room:
At Keuka College, you will have a meal plan whether you’re a resident or commuter. It’s natural to get hungry between meals and at night when you’re studying or anything else. The best thing you can do is to keep your room stocked with healthy snacks you can grab when you’re hungry, such as:
That’s not the same as:
But what if your friends order late night pizza, calzones, and wings? At Keuka College there are three big pizza places right in town (Mark’s Pizzeria, Cam’s Pizzeria, and Wise Guys Pizzeria) many students have all the menus and plenty of coupons (oh, the joys of being a college student), so this will be rather common. 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, such 1 or 2 slices of pizza, every once in a while.
In the Classroom and Throughout the Day:
Have class during meal times? You have a couple of options at Keuka College. You can pack a healthy portable snack such as fruit, trail mix, a granola or energy bar, or a sandwich. You can also sign up at the dining hall to receive a M.O.M. Meal (Meal On the Move), which is a bag lunch style meal.
You should also be drinking throughout the day. As a general rule, you should consume 8 glasses of water per day (or bottles, if you are on the go), spaced out by at least 30-minute intervals to allow the water time to absorb into your system. Bottled water is a great option because it is both portable and refillable. Keep a couple in your backpack and drink them during class (most teachers and professors won’t mind).
In the Dining Hall:
The two places to eat at Keuka College include the main dining hall (“The Geiser”) and the Terrace where you can shop for things such as cereal, drinks, ice cream, food to go, and other treats; order something from the Grill; or grab a Subway. It’s eat in or take out.
Also at Keuka College, every student has a meal plan which includes unlimited access to the Geiser and can include “dining dollars” that can be used for the Terrace.
Some students, unfortunately, just do not like college food. What can you do? 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.
What if You’re a Vegetarian? Keuka College offers vegetarian entrees at all meals such as wraps, stir fries, and pasta dishes. Other special diet’s such as Celiac and Diabetes are catered to with gluten and sugar free products.
The Geiser menu is also always posted online with a key indicating things such as gluten free, vegan, low-fat. And at the Geiser, nutrition facts are posted by the food.
Overall, you can also choose healthy options. Here are a few possibilities:
|Fried foods||Grilled of 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|
Before you go, here are some General Eating Tips:
Happy Healthy College Eating! For more healthy eating tips, visit Balance Mind, Body, and Soul.