Thanksgivingand the winter holidays often mean family, friends, and plenty of food. Because holiday treats aren’t exactly known for their nutritional value, it can be tricky to maintain a healthy diet. Here are some tips to help you navigate your next holiday gathering:
Eat a healthy snack (try our yogurt parfait or trail mix) before a big meal or get-together. This can reduce the chance that you’ll overeat.
Take time to savor your food. Eat slowly so you can enjoy the flavors of your holiday favorites.
Give yourself time to re-assess your hunger before going back for seconds. Catch up with relatives or watch a favorite movie to stay occupied.
Quench your thirst with water (refreshing AND zero calorie) instead of beverages like cider or punch.
If you do overindulge, don’t despair! Move on and resolve to do better at the next gathering.
As college students, making nutritious choices for your meals can be difficult but not impossible. Students are often pressed for time and have a limited income, but that doesn’t mean your health should suffer. We’ve compiled some tips for making healthier meal choices – no matter where you live.
For students with meal plans, the dining halls at Penn State offer a variety of meal options. If you’re overwhelmed by the options, a little bit of meal planning can go a long way. To plan your meals, check out the menus that are listed online every day. There, you’ll see the nutrition information for each meal as well as any ingredients, in case you have any food allergies. By pre-selecting your food based on this information, you’ll be less likely to make impulsive or uninformed decisions in the dining hall.
In a hurry? Scan the menus or meal options in the halls for the RHEAL carrot symbol. Recently added, the RHEAL carrot is a quick and easy way to see which options are healthier for main dishes, sides, and soups. Try to stick to these options.
Living off campus is often the first time students become responsible for their own cooking and meal preparation. Try these tips to nourish your body and make it stronger:
Add fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks. Buy them in season to save money.
Choose baked or grilled chicken or fish when eating out and pair it with veggies or a salad.
Stock up on healthy snacks like raw veggies, dried fruit, yogurt, nuts, or instant oatmeal, to have between classes or for late night study sessions to help you avoid ordering out.
Choose super salads at restaurants that are full of color and packed with nutrients. Don’t forget to ask for the salad dressing on the side so you can control the amount you use.
Go for the smaller burgers at fast-food chains versus the 1/3 pound burgers. Top them with condiments like ketchup, mustard, lettuce, and tomato instead of mayo, cheese, and bacon.
Aim for eating whole grain bread, pasta, bagels, and crackers when available to increase fiber intake and provide energy longer.
Pair calcium rich foods like Greek yogurt or string cheese with your snack and get a boost of protein from it, too.
What other tips do you have for eating healthy in college? Leave them below in our comments section!
We’ve been thrilled to see the entries being posted to social media. It’s been wonderful to see Penn State students making healthy choices in the dining commons, at on campus eateries, or in your own kitchens. Check out the entries for yourself by searching Twitter or Instagram for #psuplate.
What’s on your plate? We’re looking for students who make half their meal fruits and veggies in our new campaign. Just take a photo of your meal and upload it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using the hashtag #psuplate.
We’ll scour the interwebs every day for entries, and once a week, we’ll randomly draw a winner! Feel free to post as many times as you like. We’ll be choosing a winner every Friday from Sept. 20, 2013 until Oct. 11, 2014.
If we pick you, we’ll send you a short notification back to verify that you’re a Penn State student and invite you to email us to schedule a time to pick up your prize.
So why are we doing this? In a recent study, Penn State students were shown to be consuming less than the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
So how can you increase your intake?
Add a side salad to your meal
Fill your plate with half vegetables before adding any other food
Grab a piece of fruit on your way out of the dining commons
How are you getting your recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables? Do you have a great recipe or tip you’d like to share? Leave it below!