When you’re a Freshman in college, a meal plan is usually required. Here’s how to eat healthy when you eat all your meals in a dining hall!
1. Check the menu. If you have more than one dining hall on campus, check the menus of all of them for that day and pick the best option. Usually, dining hall menus are posted online and recur weekly.
2. Use the salad bar. You can make boring salads interesting by mixing and matching what’s available to you! Make a summer salad with fruit and spinach and a raspberry vinaigrette. Just make sure to watch the amount of dressing you put on!
3. Avoid the pizza. Dining halls often have a lot of junk food options available at hot food stations, such as chili cheese fries and pizza. Avoid these and instead go for better options such as whole wheat veggie burgers,
4. Oatmeal is your friend. At my college, breakfast usually consists of pancakes, waffles, greasy hash browns, donuts, pasteries — all in all, a pretty unhealthy fare. But in the waaaay back there was an oatmeal bar with raisins, walnuts, and other good toppings. Just don’t go crazy on the brown sugar!
5. Timing is everything. My dining hall was least crowded right before or after traditional meal times. I suggest going to breakfast before 9am, lunch before 11:30am, and dinner before 5:30pm. Often times, my dining hall would run out of healthy vegetarian options really fast so going at odd times was essential to getting good food.
Good luck and have a great year!