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Nutrition at College? Yes, It Is Possible!

By Donna Stark

Classes have started! And even though we have to admit that our babies are now full-fledged adults, that doesn't mean the worrying stops. We want our children to have fun, achieve success, and find their "tribe," but more importantly, we also want them to make healthy choices while they are away at college. Is your child prepared for this? Sure, your mini-adult mastered the art of laundering clothes under your watchful eye this past summer, but what about nutrition?

Diet and Nutrition at School

You have spent the last 18 years or so lovingly preparing nutritious dinners for your family, and if you are like me, you hope that some of what you taught stuck, especially now that your child is faced with unlimited buffets in the dining hall, late-night cravings during study sessions, and campuses that are littered with fast-food options. If you are hoping those healthy habits you instilled in your child will survive the semesters ahead, you may want to send a friendly reminder. Here are some key suggestions to point out.

  • Dining halls - It's easy to say, "eat healthy" but when you have miles of food to choose from at the dining hall, that simple command isn't as clear as you think it would be. It's important to stress healthy options to your child. For example, a burger is OK, but instead of a mountain of fries beside it, suggest a side salad or some fresh vegetables. At the very least, always encourage your child to add more fruit and veggies to their meals.
  • Cravings - Cravings can be a killer to any diet or health journey and are especially strong late at night when studying for class. For many, the cravings will consume every thought until they are satisfied. It's easy to slip from a healthy diet when these thoughts take over, so encourage your child to have some healthy snacks on hand, like fruit, yogurt, or pita bread and hummus.
  • Fast food - Fast food options are everywhere on campus and make "grabbing a quick bite" a little too easy. Encourage your child to choose healthy over convenience. Remind them to look for homemade sandwich shops instead of greasy burger joints, teach them how to order off of menus with their overall wellness in mind, and encourage them to start their day with a healthy breakfast. Studies show that if your breakfast is healthy, you are more than likely to continue choosing healthier options throughout the day!

A Successful and Healthy Semester

While a new location and change can seem difficult to manage in the beginning, your new adult in the house is sure to come out on top! So trust the process and if you must, send friendly little reminders throughout the semester. Just do it through text.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Beaverton, Ore.

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