Navigating the Options

Healthy in the Dining Hall: When the options are limited, and you are craving a healthy meal, often times the dining hall is the last place you can trust to fulfill that craving. With all this, Here are some tips on how to stay healthy in the dining hall at Syracuse University. Here are some hacks to navigate staying healthy in the dining hall. First off, fruits and vegetables are something everyone needs to keep in their diet in order to stay healthy. Not only are they good for you, but a nutritious diet can keep college students focused and nourished through long days of classes. In order to fuel your body properly throughout the semester, the easiest way is to choose healthy options in the dining hall, as the fruit station, and make your own salad bar. I find these areas to have the most healthy options and provide the widest variety of whole foods. A simple and nourishing meal consists of protein, vegetable, fat, and healthy carbs. More often than not, you can do a make your own wrap with a whole wheat tortilla and fill it with many vegetables to fuel you throughout the day. 

sandwich, lettuce, tomato, bread, meat, bacon, cheese, toast
Jocelyn Hsu

Breakfast Choices

Sometimes one may be in the mood for a hearty breakfast from the dining hall. Staying healthy in the dining hall during breakfast is important for the long day ahead. The dining hall provides packets of plain instant oatmeal that are easy to spruce up using a few added ingredients. A key way to navigate a healthy dining hall is to take advantage of the options not everyone notices. For example, make the oatmeal in a bowl with hot water and top it with a banana and/or strawberries from the fruit station. Either bring down your favorite delicious to-go peanut butter pack from your room or you can use the peanut butter provided in the dining hall. Incorporate all the ingredients together in the bowl provided, and you have a simple nourishing breakfast for a long day of classes.

rice, oatmeal
Timary Malley

Try New Dining Hall Options

Another go-to meal in the dining hall is to go on a specific day or choose a dining hall where they provide a wider range of healthier options. To be healthy in the dining hall during dinner can be hard with the endless unhealthy options. The Ernie Davis dining hall is always prepared with lots of avocados, hummus, and carrots when all else fails. They also have a salad bar that can fill your need for vegetables. One meal that will always nourish you is a side salad paired with a protein from the dining hall. I know the chicken and many types of meat from the hot bar can be questionable, however, sometimes you can find a good option. When in doubt, get a plain burger, veggie burger, or turkey burger from the grill station and eat it on the side of your meal along with the salad. Along with this choose a whole grain or potato dish to serve to fuel you as a healthy carb along with your meal. Many times they provide rice, roasted potatoes, or sweet potatoes to incorporate into a healthy meal. Next time you are looking to use a meal swipe and have a healthy meal, think about these tips to keep you satisfied!

salad, vegetable, pepper, lettuce
Becky Hughes