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5 Healthy Food Decisions for Students

November 28, 2018
During this busy time of year, healthy eating isn’t always at the top of your student’s mind. Thanksgiving break has just ended, and with Finals looming, there are final projects coming due and tests that demand purposeful studying. Throw in a few well-deserved holiday parties and dinners and...we all know the drill this time of year.

It is absolutely okay for your student to enjoy holiday parties and meals—but it’s also important they make sure they’re fueling themselves for academic success. Keeping this in mind, Baylor makes it easy and convenient to make healthy choices even at the busiest times.

Jill Hamilton, a Baylor grad and registered campus dietitian with Aramark, the company that runs Baylor University Dining Services, shares five ways students can make healthy decisions as they strive to perform their best academically.

1. Don’t Skip Meals: “Eating during the end of the year can be tough. There are temptations all around and stress that makes those temptations that much harder to resist,” Hamilton says. “Making sure that we are eating full meals multiple times a day will be a good start. If you skip a meal, it becomes easier to overeat the following meal.”

2. Plan Ahead: “Planning is essential to making wise food decisions. One phrase I love is that ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’ One easy way to plan is to take 10 minutes a week to look at your schedule and write in when you are going to eat. If you have a long study session ahead of you, what snacks will you need to carry you through? If you don’t look ahead it’s easy to go for the more temping options instead of the balanced options.”

3. Eat “Brain Food”: “The brain gets many nutrients from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and fats. It’ll also need hydration to get these nutrients moving to the brain. Adding in a variety of these foods each day will help get through this time of year. A day could include a vegetable omelet with oatmeal, fruit, and yogurt for breakfast, using the flying saucer station at Memorial to make a balanced taco bowl with rice/beans, meat, vegetables, and guacamole for lunch, grabbing mixed nuts from the convenience locations on campus for a snack, and finishing the day with an entrée from the comfort station at one of the dining halls.”

4. Hydrate: “Hydration is a huge key too. Make sure to carry a water bottle on you at all times to set yourself up for success. Another way to stay hydrated—fruits and veggies have quite a bit of water in them so by eating more of them you’ll get in extra hydration.”

5. Take Advantage of Baylor’s Convenient Options: “With four dining halls and multiple retail and convenience locations it’s easy to find balanced options on campus. In the dining halls and on the campus dining page, you can look for the Eat Well, Made With Whole Grains, Vegetarian, and Vegan identifiers on certain entrees to help identify more balanced options. Many stations rotate what they serve so some days it’ll be more balanced and others it’ll be more indulgent.

The easiest way is to check the campus dining website to see what you’d like for that day. Go-to stations should include the salad bar at all locations, bistro, chopped, and worry free at Memorial, stir-fry, made without gluten, and vegetarian at Penland, the skillet made without gluten at East Village, and comfort and international at Brooks.”

All across campus, Baylor faculty and staff are committed to your student’s success, and that includes those who prepare and serve the food our students consume. To learn more or to take advantage of Hamilton’s tips, students can visit the Dining Services website, check out each dining facility’s daily menus and learn more about the University’s commitment to health and wellness.
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