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Healthy Eating on Campus

By Caroline Ryan

Juggling classes, homework, extracurricular activities and an active social life can be stressful for college students. Eating healthy foods is probably the last thing on your mind, but choosing healthy options is important for so many reasons.

Photo Courtesy of Post Nutritionists
Photo Courtesy of Post Nutritionists

The campus nutritionists, graduate students working as dietetic interns in the department of nutrition in the School of Health Professions and Nursing, communicate with Aramark, the outside food service that provides the food in the Winnick dining hall, in an effort to ensure that healthy options are available to students. The nutritionists offer student suggestions and concerns regularly to Aramark’s Operations Manager, Brian Yoli, and Executive Chef Justin Poly. “Aramark runs the majority of food operations on campus including Winnick Hall, Hillwood Cafe, Starbucks, End Zone, Bleaker Street, Twisted Taco, Subway, Ocelott, Little Shop at Winnick and Campus Catering,” Yoli said. In doing so, Aramark works closely with the nutrition and sustainability group on campus.

According to the three graduate student nutritionists, Stephanie Schmidt, Melissa Fine and Emily Ranucci, “Winnick makes an effort to provide healthy options from oatmeal and veggie egg white omelettes for breakfast to grilled or baked protein with a side of brown rice or whole wheat pasta and steamed veggies at lunch and dinner. Their salad bar is also available daily and quite impressive.”

The nutritionists have also been featuring healthier menu items available at Winnick on their Instagram page (sensible_bites) to give students an idea as to how to build a healthy plate while dining on campus.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays from March 8 to April 5, the nutritionists will host nutrition informational tables at Winnick and Hillwood during common hour. The information tables for National Nutrition Month will each have their own theme such as “Fuel Your Workout, Plan Your Plate, Facts on Fiber and Fact or Quack\Nutrition Trivia.” They will be there offering nutrition information, interactive games and prizes. The nutrition club may also assist them with the tables as well.

“We have many students with special diets and allergies to certain foods. It is great that we can partner up, and really set up a great plan and balanced diet for these students. I hope the students (both residential and commuter students) can join us for national nutrition month,” Yoli said.

Here are a few tips provided by the nutritionists for maintaining a healthy diet:
1) Try keeping instant oatmeal, high fiber cereal, protein bar and/or fresh fruit in your dorm room or backpack when you don’t have time to sit for a meal.
2) When making a plate of food, fill 1/2 with fruits and vegetables, 1/4 with a lean protein (eggs/ egg whites, fish or poultry) and the other 1/4 with whole grains (brown rice, barley, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta).
3) Students can be creative with the different food stations in Winnick by filling their plate with colorful goodies found at the salad bar then adding in hot protein from the “home zone” station.

The three nutritionists suggested visiting for additional information regarding nutrition. Students can schedule a free appointment with a campus nutritionist at 516-299-2881 or           

The nutritionists are located in the Life Science building, room 150, on Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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