Cooking on campus: Be healthy, eat well


As the concept of home cooking regains its popularity, taking over pop culture, Internet blogging sites and bookstores everywhere, college students remain, for the most part, unchanged in their diets.

While cooking requires time, it provides a hearty meal as well as stress relief. The challenge of the semester is to bring some real, healthful cooking to the dorms! Here are some pointers and nutrition tips to prepare you for healthful cooking from Dr. Linda Gleason, the head of dietetics department.

Choosing a Recipe

Choose recipes with fewer ingredients to keep costs down. Pay mind to recipes that utilize basic, multipurpose ingredients that you will use later on. This may include basic vegetables, dairy products and legumes.

Photo by NATALIE GUYETTECauliflower dish is a healthier option than alfredo pasta,

This cauliflower dish is a healthier option than alfredo pasta.


Rate Your Recipe

Gleason recommends choosing a recipe that is largely plant-based such as fruits, vegetables and legumes. Many ethnic recipes have healthy bases including many of these ingredients. Along with your plant-based ingredients, be sure to swap out your Crisco, butter or margarine for a more beneficial oil such as olive oil.

Prepare Yourself

Before you cook, read through your recipe. Make sure all the directions are clear and you have all ingredients. Pick up any needed supplies at Goodwill.

Explore Food Blogs

There are millions of blogs all over the Web promoting healthy, easy recipes for all diets.
Remove yourself from the stereotypical college diet and try something new!

No time for meals? Many snacks can be nutritious as well. Dr. Gleason suggested nuts, which are satisfying, rich in vitamins and fiber, and tend to have self-regulating qualities (meaning it’s hard to overeat)! Other ideas include fruits, fruit leathers and whole grain granola bars such as Cliff, Kashi or Luna.

Time Allowance

Leave enough time for yourself to make the recipe. You want to release the stress, not create more. No matter how much you may want a nice meal, it is not worth cramming in before class.

Be Mindful of Vital Nutrients

Gleason stressed the importance of iron and calcium in a female college student’s diet. Calcium builds bone mass and is only collected by the body until the ages of 25-30. This means you should consume dairy products and green leafy vegetables. “The greener the better,” Gleason said.

For the full Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo with Peas recipe click the link.

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