The infamous “freshman 15” is a horror first-year students strive to avoid at all costs.
Fortunately, there are ways to stay fit while living on campus, and one of the best ways is to eat healthy.
For students who live on campus and eat in the dining halls, Central Michigan University tries to make eating healthy easy by providing students with a variety of food options.
“Campus Dining is committed to offering a variety of foods to meet all diet preferences,” said Campus Dining Marketing Manager Nikki Smith. “We offer both healthy options and more indulgent options.”
According to Smith, campus dining has taken measures to improve the nutritional value of meals in campus dining halls. Examples include using non-trans-fat oil in dining hall fryers and replacing ground beef with lean ground turkey.
“The menu continues to evolve as we gather feedback from students and new trends and preferences arise,” Smith said. “A new four-week menu cycle was introduced this year, which creates even greater menu variety in the residential restaurants than in years past.”
Preparation of meals plays a large role in determining the nutritional value of food. Campus Dining has taken steps to ensure the preparation of food is healthy.
“The vast majority of recipes are freshly prepared in front of guests,” Smith said. “This creates a high-quality, fresh product and allows the guest to see the menu items going into the meal and how they are being prepared.”
Health and nutrition are important for Illinois sophomore Derek Piszczek, who is happy with the menu provided by the dining halls. He said eating healthy is ultimately up to the individual.
“Overall, I think the menu is well-balanced, as long as the person wants to keep it healthy,” Piszczek said.
Charlevoix sophomore Taylor Ackerman is both gluten-free and vegetarian. Even with her limited diet, Ackerman said the dining halls provide a variety of meal options on a daily basis.
“They’re really obliging about food allergies and special requests,” Ackerman said.
Smith encourages students to visit the NetNutrition online menu to preview daily menu options. NetNutrition provides students with nutritional information for each meal, as well as complete ingredient lists.
“This program puts the knowledge of what you’re eating right at your fingertips, empowering you to make educated choices,” Smith said.
Campus Dining provides an abundance of educational material through its Healthy for Life program, which is available online. Healthy for Life gives students the resources they need to make educated decisions about healthy living.