I'm not gonna lie, I didn't believe a single person who warned me about the freshman 15. "I'm a relatively healthy girl, I go to the gym, I eat well..." I thought. Little did I know the temptations of unhealthy dorm food were so real. The options were endless! With all my favorite treats so easily accessible with just the scan of my I.D, I was eating Nestle Toll Houses, sugary coffees, and GSH's Carbonara (which if you haven't tried - you're missing out) almost daily. UO’s dining halls are honestly pretty amazing. There are about a bajillion options to choose from. Most of their dining halls have cafes with specialty coffees, gluten-free/vegan fresh baked goods, and you can really tell the chef’s put a lot of time and effort into their creations. So, while the dining halls definitely have their fair share of unhealthy, sugary, caloric, freshman 15 gaining type foods, they also have a plethora of healthy and delicious options to chose from. Without further ado, here is my take on the healthiest options UO dining has to offer. 

A little side note, I have never worked in UO dining so I can't speak for how anything is actually made. These are just my opinions!


Egg Scrambles: Add veggies and sub home fries for spinach/a side of fruit. Add half an avocado for some healthy fats.

Mya Miller

A bagel + half an avocado: add sriracha to make it 10x better! (These are also available at LLC and GSH depending on whether or not they have avocados available.)

Acai bowls: Honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of Hamilton's Acai bowls - I feel like they are loaded with sugar and the fruit they use isn't fresh at all. However, they are still a delicious treat once in a while. 

Living Learning Center (LLC)

Custom Salad: Make sure to ask for light dressing! Pictured below is a half-siz custom salad with romaine lettuce, spring mix, peppers, onions, carrots, Pico de Gallo, Italian chicken, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. 

Mya Miller

Oatmeal: Don't pack on the brown sugar, instead, sweeten it with fruit from the yogurt bar. 

Super Duck Smoothie: A delicious snack or breakfast packed with veggies you can't even taste! Be aware that orange juice can be high in sugar so if you want you can switch it for almond milk. 


If your goal is to stay super fit and healthy at all times I would stay away from Carson at all costs! Their pizza bar is just too tempting... However, I am aware that many people are on a strictly Carson dining meal plan. In this case, I would try your best to fill up the majority of your plate with the salad bar and add some protein and grains. Maybe set a goal for yourself and only grab a slice of pizza once a week ;) 


I'm not going to lie, I didn't go to Barnhart very often and when I did it was to indulge in their delicious brunch or tater tots (I'm pretty sure it's the only place you can get tater tots in the dining halls!). I would probably stick to their rice bowls, the salad bar, or soups. 

Global Scholars Hall

Custom Bowl: There are plenty of ways to make delicious and healthy bowls. I would start with a base of salad or the rice medley, add a good source of protein, and make sure your toppings include fresh veggies such as broccoli, mushrooms, corn, etc. Also, make sure to ask for light sauce. 

Custom Sushi: This was one of my absolute favorite dining options. I would get salmon, avocado, and green onions topped with a light drizzle of sriracha mayo. 

Custom smoothie: Another one of my favorite options. By customizing your smoothies you can ensure that there are no sneaky added sugars or syrups. Stick to fresh fruits/veggies, nut butters, protein powders, and coconut or almond milk as your base. 

On a final note, if you want to do more research into exactly what you are eating click here for a full UO dining nutrition calculator.

Good luck! May the freshman 15 become the freshman 5 ;)