Eating right and staying healthy don’t need to be foreign constructs for college kids. They are both a challenge to maintain, that’s for sure, and students don’t always have an opportunity to make the right choices when it comes to what they eat. Life on campus can be frenzied to say the least. There is always some deadline to be met, tests to study for, and classes that always start way too early in the morning. With so many things on the mind of a college student, nutrition and health are all too often pushed aside.

That’s unfortunate because the choices that we make at school often dictate the routines we’ll continue to practice long after commencement has come and gone. So it’s better to get into good eating habits now for better health outcomes later on. These are some of the basics you’ll need to know to get on the right path for good nutrition in college whether you’re enrolled at Marylhurst Online or taking classes on campus at Northeastern University.

Nutrition and Health Basics for College Students

Meals are Important

We’re supposed to eat three meals a day. It keeps us well nourished and ready to tackle the tasks we need to accomplish each and every day. It starts with breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Don’t skip lunch either, it’s the meal that gives you the punch you’ll want for getting through the rest of your classes. Meals are important for two reasons, the first is that when you eat breakfast or lunch you won’t be hungry and reach for something out of a vending machine or fast food window instead. But it’s also crucial to understand what you should be putting on your plate when meal time comes around. Hot dogs and pizza are fine for dinner once a month, not once a week.

Know Your Foods

Some college students think that they’re getting the right amount of vegetables from putting lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions on their submarine sandwich. Unfortunately that’s not the case. Proper nutrition starts with knowing how to make the right choices for your dinner plate. That’s why it’s a smart idea to explore resources like the USDA Food Pyramid and the government’s My Plate website for valuable information on the recommended daily allowance and serving sizes for good nutrition.

Get Out!

Diet is just one part of nutrition and health. Exercise is the other, so get out there and get active! Walking is a great place to start, walk to class, walk to town, walk around the halls of your dorm if you prefer. Ride a bike around the quad, take up running or jogging, do something that gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing. You could even join a sports league or just get a few friends and throw the football around on the weekend.

Hydration is Key

Water is good for you. It helps the body heal itself and flushes out the toxins that you don’t want hanging around. Getting enough fluids will also make you feel alive, refreshed, and energetic while also protecting your joints, spine, cells, tissues, and much more. So grab a bottle of water and bring it to class with you.