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Healthy Meal Plans for Your Students

August 24, 2016

Offering healthy meal plans for students will help cut down on the weight gain that many new students experience when they enter college. Healthy meal plans will also attract those students who take into consideration student health when choosing a college to go to.

Have Whole Grains & Lean Meats

Does your college meal plan consist of burgers, fried chicken, and sugar-laden drinks? These treats are fine in small doses but can take a toll on students’ minds and bodies over time. Adding healthy alternatives to meal plans like grilled chicken and whole grains will help students:

Support Diverse Lifestyle Choices

It’s also a good idea to also have pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan options for those students who have dietary restrictions or simply want to eat healthier. Catering to different lifestyle choices will go a long way in attracting students who adhere to those lifestyles, as they will see that your college cares about them. Offering these different foods will also help students explore these different lifestyles and discover more about themselves and others.

Offer Healthy Side Dishes & Desserts

Instead of chips and cookies that can cause sugar crashes and cravings, offer fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and other healthy side dishes and desserts for your students to choose from. By offering sides and healthy desserts that aren’t full of added sugars and fats, but are still delicious, student health at your college can improve. Students can also learn to make healthy choices when it comes to their eating habits.

Don’t Forget the Salad Bar

Having a salad bar included in your college’s meal plan can help improve student health by encouraging them to eat colorful foods that have a myriad of health benefits like:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Maintaining eye health
  • Maintaining strong bones

While salad bars can be a healthy option for students, just remember that offering only creamy dressings and extras like cheese and bacon bits isn’t healthy and can add up to more than 1,000 calories. So for a healthy salad bar, be sure to include:

  • High-protein toppings like grilled chicken or beans
  • Dark leafy greens like spinach
  • Clear salad dressings like balsamic vinaigrette

Up Next: What Do Students Expect from Their College Recreation Center?