Time in college as an undergrad is extremely stressful. With a million papers to write, exams to study for, WeBWork to finish, or a concert to perform, there is never a spare moment to breathe, let alone take time out for oneself. Personal well-being is thrown out the window once one gives in to the temptations of fried food, sweets, alcohol, and other substances. But in order to make it through four years in one piece, food choices need to be kept in mind.

In a rush to get to class, the fries and chicken tenders look far more appealing than the salad bar. Some days, this will be the case and that’s ok. As long as your average meal is geared toward healthy eating, wellness can be maintained. Nutrition experts recommend eating multiple small meals a day. From experience, this is definitely the way to go. Having a collection of granola bars in the front pocket of your backpack is a simple way to know you will never have to sit through a lecture with an embarrassingly growling stomach. Having three main meals in the morning, afternoon, and evening mixed in with snacks will help you maintain a level of metabolism throughout the day  and control your weight.

Vending machines are not your friend. There is nothing sold in vending machines anywhere on campus that will provide any nutrition to your body. Keep your quarters for laundry, not for the machines. Need water? Fill your water bottle from the fountain and save your money.

Get outside while the weather is still nice. We only see the sun in Rochester for a few weeks each school year, so now is the time to be outside running around and playing Frisbee.. Go for a beautiful morning run along the river and watch the sunrise. Invite friends to go for a walk to Highland Park or through the cemetery. Go exploring and soak up the vitamin D while the sun’s still around.

Late night study snacking is a disaster in terms of calorie consumption and weight gain. If you’re up late studying and need a power boost, grab a handful of almonds and dried fruit from the Common Market, or stock some in your room and keep fresh fruit in your mini fridge.

In spite of all of this, it’s ok to enjoy something special once in a while. Ben & Jerry’s is still the best ice cream for celebrations and break ups. Just eat it in moderation. Chocolate is good for your heart and your soul – have some as the punctuation to a meal. Have questions about how to eat? UHS and dining both offer programs that can help you stay on track with healthy eating all through your college career.

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