Delivering the latest buzz on fitness, nutrition and wellness for Syracuse University students.
Valentina Palladino, beat blogger
Dining halls offer college students food at almost any time of the day, and some of that food isn’t always the best for your health. With basically an unlimited supply of ice cream, French fries, pizza, and macaroni and cheese, how does one stay on track while eating within a meal plan? It can be very easy to fall victim to unhealthy food habits and consumption while working hard at the university, but luckily we can help with your Wellness M.A.P. to Decisions of the Dining Hall Diet!
Pockets of dining hall nutrition. Every section of the dining hall has a somewhat healthier option for you to choose. When in the mood for pizza, choose a slice with greens like spinach or broccoli rather than simply sausage or pepperoni. If Asian food is what you’re craving, instead of going for the fried rice or white rice, grab some healthier brown rice from the specialty hot foods area to pair with your sesame chicken and that egg roll. Two of the best areas of a dining hall are the personal wraps area and the salad bar. When ordering a wrap you have total control over what you want inside of it. Choose sliced turkey, a cleaner, less fatty meat than ham or roast beef, and complement it with lettuce, tomatoes and other veggies. While making your salad plate, avoid globs of dressing, which add unnecessary calories and fat.
“The Freshman Fifteen is unavoidable.” The dining hall doesn’t have to be one of the possible factors of the “Freshmen Fifteen.” Dining halls can be utilized to your advantage to stay healthy, but that all depends on making the right choices. For example, when deciding whether or not to go to the dining hall or a fast-food restaurant for dinner, you could make a much healthier food choice with a salad or wrap from the dining hall than with traditional fast-food cheeseburger and French fry fare.
Make time for real meals. Not eating is never a good strategy. In fact, not eating can make you feel even worse by instigating stomach pains, headaches, and possibly causing you to binge when you finally do eat. Be sure to get in your three meals of the day, or, another strategy is to have six small meals every three hours. This method will keep your metabolism going and lessen hunger in between eating. Most importantly, DO NOT neglect to eat breakfast! We’ve all heard this before, but it really is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast will wake up you metabolism in the morning and help you start you day off fresh and energized.
Valentina Palladino is a freshman in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and hopes to major in magazine journalism and English & textual studies. She was the editor-in-chief of her high school’s newspaper and worked for two of her hometown’s local newspapers as a contributing writer. When not writing, Valentina loves theatre, both performing and backstage work, eating her family’s authentic Italian food and, most of all, traveling.
Have a wellness question you’d like a MAP for? Contact Valentina Palladino at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, or suggestions.