Feb 092005
Authors: Holly Bianco

Students at the residence halls and around campus often find it hard to eat healthy, yet there are many different ways to get the right nutrition.

"As far as healthy eating, we offer a wide variety of foods," said Cynthia Lategan, the coordinator of culinary education for residential dining.

Lategan is working with the Hartshorn Health Service to create top 10 cards that have health and nutrition facts all students should be aware of. These cards would be placed on every table in all the residence-hall cafeterias.

But knowing how to eat is not always the solution.

"You need to have a wide variety of foods to maintain a healthy diet," Lategan said.

The construction occurring in the Corbett and Parmalee halls' will add many new foods to the dining halls, including tofu, stir-fry and elaborate salads with a variety of different fruits and vegetables as toppings.

"We are going for a marketplace concept which means we're bringing a lot of the cooking out in the open," said Lategan. "There will also be an area with home-cooked food."

Lategan said nutrition is always a consideration when planning the menus each week in the residence halls.

While the popular demand for hamburgers and French fries cannot be ignored, students should be informed on how to maintain a healthy diet and offered more nutritious meals.

"We don't encourage anyone to cut out their favorite foods because then they become really unhappy," said Dawn Clifford, a registered dietician at the health service. " We just really encourage students to try and follow moderation and balance in their diet. Ninety percent of your diet should be healthy but 10 percent of your diet should be fun, so try to find that balance."

College students often make their choices about what to eat depending on what is cheap and easy, but these choices can oftentimes be unhealthy.

"Students definitely lack fruits and vegetables in general," Clifford said. "You're supposed to have five to nine servings, so that means making an effort by putting a piece of fruit on top of your cereal."

Clifford also said the general rule of thumb is to aim for at least three to four different food groups at each meal. However, some students see that as a concept that is easier said than done, but there are many ways to satisfy a healthy diet.

"I try to eat a salad with every meal and a variety of fruits and vegetables," said Ellie Ducic, a freshman human development major.

For students living off campus and freshman who would like a little more variety than what the residence halls offer, grocery stores selling organic or pre-made organic meals such as Wild Oats, 200 W Foothills Parkway, and Whole Foods, 2201 South College Ave., offer plenty of healthy, cheap and easy- to-make foods.

"As far as quick meals (Wild Oats) has a lot of deli items, a coffee bar and a juice bar," said Anne Carey, community marketing coordinator for Wild Oats in Fort Collins. "We have tons of healthy organic, quick meals and also private-label frozen pizzas that are delicious."

Students who are looking to maintain a healthy diet should always look to the food groups for guidance.

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