How to find KSU’s healthy food

Emily Mills

With so many dining locations on campus that serve up fast fried food, such as Rosie’s, Quaker Steak and Nathan’s, students might think it can be difficult to find a healthy meal on campus.

But Tanya Falcone, lecturer in the School of Health Sciences and coordinator for the Center of Nutrition Outreach, said eating healthier can be easier than students think.

She said eating healthy will make students feel better.

“You feel gross after eating some unhealthy foods,” she said. “You’ll feel better, fuller and more energized (if you eat healthy). You won’t pass out on your books.”

Ashley Rickard, a nutrition graduate student and dietetic intern in the School of Health Sciences, said students should spend money on healthy foods, even though they can be pricier than junk food.

“Good nutrition is an investment in yourself,” she said. “Even if you find it costs you more money, what better to spend it on than your health and wellness?”

Falcone said these healthy foods students should consume include “brain foods,” such as chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables. These foods can improve concentration and focus.

Falcone said students can eat healthy both at dining options on campus and in their own rooms.

The Food 4 Thought Café, located in White and Bowman halls, offers “coffees, teas, bagels, salads, wraps, smoothies, flatbreads, flatbread pizzas and a variety of other healthy refueling options,” according to its website.

Veggie-A-GO-GO is another option for students looking to eat healthier. The call-ahead vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free program is available through Eastway and Prentice cafés.

Falcone said students also can find healthy options at several other locations on campus.

“You can find healthy things in all different places, if you look,” Falcone said. “That’s the hard part.”

Locations with healthy options, Falcone said, include The Slice — if a salad is bought in place of pizza — Subway and Einstein Bros. Bagels.

In addition, the Kent Market on the first floor of the Student Center puts nutrition labels on all of its products, Rickard said.

Students also do not have to buy food on campus. They can pack their own healthy lunches, like Rickard does.

“My rule of thumb is if you can make it yourself or get it fresh, do that, instead of getting it frozen or in a can,” she said. “You know exactly what’s in it.”

Snacks students keep in their rooms tend to be unhealthy, but Falcone said it is easy to replace those snacks with healthy alternatives, such as multigrain chips instead of potato chips or dried fruit instead of cookies or brownies.

Falcone said even if students choose to eat unhealthier foods, there are ways to make the meal healthier.

“Always go for grilled, not fried,” she said, “and load up on vegetables. It makes you feel fuller, and it’s a low-calorie food.”

Another key to eating better is portion size, Falcone said. It is OK to have unhealthy food occasionally, as long as students do not overeat.

“When it comes to food, it’s all about moderation,” she said. “For snacks, just don’t eat the whole bag. It’s important to indulge, but don’t indulge everyday. If you’re having ice cream, get the small, not the large.”

Falcone said students should focus on healthy foods 80 percent of the time.

Students who want to learn more about healthy eating, among numerous other health and nutrition topics, can sign up for an appointment through the Center of Nutrition Outreach, also known as the Nutrition Outreach program.

“The Nutrition Outreach program provides nutrition education on weight control, cardiovascular/hypertension, digestive disorders, diabetes, eating disorders, general nutrition/wellness, pediatric nutrition, childhood obesity, sports nutrition, vegetarian, food allergies, and food safety,” according to its website.

This counseling, run by Falcone and three nutrition interns, is free and open to all students, faculty and staff.

The center also has presentations in classes and residence halls. Next semester, the center is planning on holding healthy food cooking classes and campus tours to show students healthy food options on campus.

To schedule an appointment with the Center of Nutrition Outreach, call the School of Health Sciences at 330-672-2197 or email [email protected].

Contact Emily Mills at [email protected].