Ohhhh, the dining hall. It’s an all you can eat mystical world in there: one full of ice cream, pizza, French fries, and all the other wonderful food items that lead to the freshman fifteen. College students spend a good amount of time in the dining hall, as there are a plethora of options to fill one’s food cravings. However, just because there are tempting, appetizing, and unhealthy choices in front of you, does not mean you have to eat them! Despite the junk food, there are plenty of healthy options and ways to eat a balanced and proportionate meal. Here are five ways to navigate through the dining hall and treat your body right!
1. Use The Salad Bar
You can’t miss it! Located right in the middle of the dining hall, the salad bar comes equipped with a wide array of veggies, cheese, protein, and dressings to top off your salad. Because of the many options, you can make a different salad each day if your heart desires. Adding grilled chicken from another area of the dining hall is another way to keep your salad interesting and include protein into your diet. Its nutritious and tasty, so next time you’re in the dining hall, walk away from the make your own pizza station and dive into the wonders of the salad bar!
2. Greek Yogurt Bowl
My personal favorite, the yogurt station. Whether you prefer the tart Greek or sweet vanilla taste, yogurt is a great option no matter what time of the day it is! If eating just yogurt is to plain, adding fruit, a scoop of peanut butter, granola, or a touch of strawberry jam on the side is the perfect way to spice it up and add flavor to your meal. It’s easy to control your portion size, but at the same time is filling and leaves you satisfied!
3. Who Doesn’t Love Some Heart-Warming Soup?
Sometimes, all you need to turn your day around is a nice bowl of steaming hot soup. Thankfully, the dining hall has just that! Whether it be chicken noodle, minestrone, French onion, chili, or clam chowder, there are typically two or three options for people to choose from each night. Winter is here, and soup is the perfect way to fight the bitter cold we walk around in all day. Besides being healthy, it’s delicious, and a great addition to any meal.
4. You Don’t Need a Cookie Every Time.
I’m not going to lie, the chocolate chip cookies are to die for. They’re warm, soft, and gooey on the inside. They look so pretty too, all crisp and warm under the light. For some, it’s almost routinely to grab one or two on your way out of the dining hall. Stay strong! One cookie after dinner won't hurt anybody, but just because they're convenient doesn't mean you need to eat three after every meal.
5. Don’t Go Back For Thirds!
The hardest part about the dining hall is portion control. Because there is no menu, or limit on how much one can eat, it’s hard to resist going back for another two, three, or even four servings of your favorite food. Treat the dining hall just like any other restaurant. Eat one meal, and throw away your dishes to prevent over eating. Go around and explore the healthy choices on your next dining hall adventure! Bon Appetit!