Maintaining healthy habits in college

According to the International Journal of Consumer Studies, “recipes have been an integral way to illustrate principles of nutrition, food buying and preparation for over 100 years.

“With the time constraints of careers and the increasing dependence of families on the use of away-from-home foods, recipes are being adapted to four to six ingredients, fewer preparation steps and 20-30 minutes preparation time,” the article continued.

Recipes are a great way to learn how to cook if you do not already know how, as the preparation instructions provide step-by-step details. Students living in dorms will usually not own any appliances other than microwaves or mini-fridges, so finding simple recipes is crucial.

The following recipes were located and adapted from IVCH dietitcians reviewed each recipe, and made minor changes to ensure that each recipe was as healthy as possible.

We recommend that students try these recipes out at home, as they may come in handy while they are later living in a dorm. All you need are a few ingredients, a spoon and a medium sized bowl!

IVCH dietitians’ advice: As the end of the semester nears, many students at Illinois Valley Community College will soon transfer to four-year institutions.

This transfer of schools also means a change of address, and many students will either move into dorms or apartments.
No longer will a stocked fridge or mom’s home cooked meals be readily available; students must learn to purchase and prepare food on their own terms.

For most, this means microwavable meals, ramen noodles and protein bars. However, there is much more to good health than processed foods and protein supplements.

Illinois Valley Community Hospital dietitians Brittney Moutry, R.D., and Hailey Kneebone, R.D., provide a few tips for staying healthy in college.

“The biggest thing to avoid is skipping meals. Energy levels fluctuate with hunger, so if you’re hungry, that means your brain won’t function properly,” Moutry said.

Moutry also discussed different ways to eat healthy while dining out. She recommends either splitting an entrée or saving half of it for another meal.

“It’s important to order water instead of soda when eating out. All of those sugary drinks are so bad for you. Water is cheaper and much healthier,” Moutry said.

As for snacks, Kneebone recommends snacks high in protein and low in sodium. Kneebone suggests pairing apples with peanut butter, cottage cheese with fruit or yogurt with granola.

“Snacks are usually very high in sodium. Students need to watch that,” Kneebone said.
For those who are worried about eating healthy in college, understand that dining hall food, salty snacks and late night pizza orders will be hard to avoid.

Kneebone and Moutry acknowledge this, and advise students to ensure that at least half of their plate consists of fruits and vegetables.

The other half should consist of either proteins or carbohydrates.
If you are a student hoping to avoid the infamous “Freshman 15,” follow these tips and remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

As long as you make healthy choices a habit, your health will not suffer while living on campus.