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Campus Dining Serves Up Healthy Alternatives

by Published: Aug 26, 2013

Rarely does a col­lege stu­dent have enough money to even con­sider shop­ping for healthy groceries.

Fortunately, stu­dents with a meal plan at The Rock Café have a mul­ti­tude of healthy choices at their dis­posal for every meal of the day.  

The Rock presents healthy options for every meal, but know­ing what con­sti­tutes a healthy meal and what doesn’t isn’t always easy. It’s more than just count­ing calo­ries; one should also take into account the amount of sodium or lack of pro­tein in order to make the most health con­scious choice pos­si­ble.  

Eating healthy involves know­ing the ele­ments of food that are healthy for you, like pro­tein, mul­ti­ple vit­a­mins and main­tain­ing a bal­ance between the good and the bad. After that, it’s all about know­ing what to eat and when.

“It’s more impor­tant to watch por­tion size,” said Ferris dietit­ian Brenda Walton. “All the food we serve has nutri­tional value, but if one puts together a lot of high carbs, fried food, things like that, it turns into a less nutri­tional meal.”

Here is a typ­i­cal healthy diet for col­lege stu­dents: Try eat­ing two hard-boiled eggs with a bowl of yogurt on the side for break­fast instead of a waf­fle, which has more than 400 calo­ries and twice the car­bo­hy­drates of a donut — even with­out the top­pings and whipped cream. Breakfast should be a meal high in pro­tein, one that is fill­ing enough to get one through to the lunch hour with­out hav­ing as many calo­ries as later meals.

Lunch should be sub­stan­tially more fill­ing than break­fast with­out mak­ing you stuffed. A sand­wich from the deli with white meat and a good array of veg­eta­bles with a salad on the side is a good option, as it’ll keep you full until dinner.

Anything from the Comfort Zone isn’t the best option for a healthy meal due to the large por­tion sizes and high amount of calo­ries and sodium.

It is com­monly a tra­di­tion in America for din­ner to be the largest meal of the day. A good sized help­ing from the Mongolian Grill is a good choice as long as you don’t have too much of one par­tic­u­lar meat and eat enough veg­eta­bles to bal­ance it out. Pizza, mean­while, should be avoided as it’s loaded with sodium while not hav­ing much in the way of pro­tein or vit­a­mins. With around 250 calo­ries per slice, you can’t eat enough of it to make you feel full with­out going far beyond the sug­gested amount of daily calories.

The din­ing hall table tents will often relay how to find more infor­ma­tion about the food avail­able and how to keep healthy.

“With our table tents, we put nutri­tion infor­ma­tion on there besides our web­site. We also have nutri­tion facts, ingre­di­ents and aller­gens,” Walton said.

The best way to start or main­tain healthy eat­ing habits is to know what’s in the food you’re eat­ing. To find out the nutri­tion facts for either din­ing hall on cam­pus, use the meal cal­cu­la­tor on the din­ing service’s web­site at fer​ris​.edu/​m​e​n​u​s​/​l​o​c​a​t​i​o​n​.​asp. ///