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Food and nutrition students hold dorm forums on healthy eating

By Briana Gregory, General Dietectics Major
On May 5, 2012

Students majoring in food and nutrition held forums in the dormitories to listen to what the students had to say about healthy eating and to educate them on portion sizes, healthy eating options, and foods that should be eaten in larger or lesser quantities.

Ask the average student what type of snacks they have in their room, and the first word they will likely say will be "chips." Students will also admit that they eat out a lot and do not pay much attention to what the food contains. Students also appeared to be interested in learning more about healthy food choices.

Of the students who did not maintain healthy diets, many of them "found it to be a hassle or felt that healthy food tasted nasty." Of the students who did consume a healthy diet, they knew the key was making better choices.

The goal for these forums was to gain insight into peers' thoughts on maintaining a healthy diet and to educate them on what they can do to eat well daily. Although options are scarce for students in dorms on campus, they gave them a few tips on healthy diets. Some of these tips were:

1. When making a salad at the cafeteria, make choices to optimize nutrient intake. Therefore, instead of a salad with iceberg lettuce, cheese, and ranch, use spinach as the base of the salad and add more vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and broccoli and make use of all the vegetables there.

2. At the convenience store, choose 100% juice instead of soda. The sugar intakes may be similar, but the juice has natural sugar and more nutrients. However, the prime choice would be water.

3. The color rule: If all the food on your plate is the same color, then you should go back and get a variety of colors. (Example: fried chicken, fries, and cookies vs. fried chicken or broiled chicken, corn, and greens.)

4. If there is an option between fried and grilled, choose grilled.

5. When grocery shopping, swap at least one snack for some fresh fruit that you'll eat and always keep water in your room.


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