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Karlyn Kares - Eating healthy in the dining hall

McIntosh dining hall is a great place for students to get a quick meal and socialize. (photo/Trevor Jones)

McIntosh dining hall is a great place for students to get a quick meal and socialize. (photo/Trevor Jones)

Dining hall food is one-of-a-kind. Dining halls have a wide variety of every food genre you could dream of. This is a great thing to have since many students are eating there about twice a day. It is a very delicious and convenient way to eat.

For a freshman, it can be hard not to come into the dining hall and eat pasta or pizza for every meal. Add on top of it the dessert bar and the soda machines. This is a recipe for bad health when sustained for long periods of time.

Some of the choices in a dining hall are unhealthy, but there are many ways to make healthy choices every day. Here are a few tips on how to eat healthy in the dining halls.

Salad bar

I’m not recommending anyone eats a salad every single day for the rest of the school year. The salad bar is a great place to get veggies on a daily basis. Some entrees served don’t come with a fresh vegetable.

Going to the salad bar to pick up broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower or even snap peas can help build up a strong vegetable portion of a meal. The recommended amount of vegetables per day are about two and a half to three cups a day.

Take out the bread

Meals in dining halls are served with a large amount of bread usually. Bread is a large source of calories and carbohydrates. Most of the bread in the dining hall can be limited when possible.

When it is taco day, try getting rid of the tortilla and making it like a taco salad. When there is an overload of pasta at the dining hall, just get the pasta sauce and add it to grilled chicken. This is an easy way to get around the more calorie dense foods.

The dessert bar

All dining hall deserts are invented to be delicious and sweet every single day. Eating an abundance of sweet treats can be detrimental to your health and can cause sugar crashes throughout the day.

Staying away from the dessert bar as much as possible is important. Occasionally grab a snack to treat yourself but try not to treat yourself every time you are in the dining hall. If you are really craving something sweet, the dining hall usually offers jello and pudding which are great alternatives.

 

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