If you are trying to cut out processed, fatty foods from your diet, the dining hall may be a hard place for you to eat. It is challenging to eat ‘clean’ when you are presented with options like cheeseburgers, curly fries and chicken strips. Clean eating involves limiting the amount of processed foods that contain high amounts of preservatives from your diet .

If you are looking for some advice on finding a way to participate in clean eating at the dining halls then keep reading!

Next time you walk into your universities dining hall try something new. It is easy to get items that are quick and cheep but challenge yourself to get creative with your meal. It may take more time to prepare but your body will appreciate it.


Start your day off right! Instead of grabbing a muffin and hash browns, ask for eggs that can be prepared any way you like. A protein packed breakfast would include eggs, fresh fruit, and toast with nut butter. Just remember not to douse your eggs with cheese and sriracha.

egg, chicken, egg yolk
Jocelyn Hsu


Many dining halls offer a salad bar. To get the most out of your salad, choose dark leafy greens such as spinach or kale that are packed with vitamins. Top you salad with vegetables and seeds. Try to avoid the fatty dressings and consider trying olive oil or balsamic. If you are needing protein, add grilled chicken or salmon.

sea lettuce, herb, sea beet, kale, salad, lettuce, vegetable
Caroline Ingalls


After a long day of classes it sounds tempting to get a burger and fries for dinner. Think twice. If you are trying to eat clean, head over to the naturals section where you can choose from a wide range of vegetables to have grilled in your choice of oil. Pair your grilled veggies with grilled chicken or some type of grain (rice, quinoa). This meal would be free of preservatives and leave your body feeling nourished.

vegetable, cucumber, pepper, tomato, salad
Christin Urso

Remember, if you are trying to eat clean, your goal should be to eat a meal that limits preservatives. It is okay once in awhile to enjoy chicken strips for lunch. Just keep in mind, it is all in moderation.