First Year Student Messages
Written for Students by Students

Nutrition incorporates different aspects of health, including eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, etc. Weight loss and maintenance is not the only reason to be healthy – nutrition is vital to improving fitness, energy levels, the immune system, mood and overall good health, as well as reducing stress.
Key Links
Nutrition and Healthy Eating (Mayo Clinic)
Deliciously Healthy Eating (Department of Health & Human Services)
Raptor Pantry

Healthy Eating

Having nutritious meals can sometimes be difficult, especially if you are relying on the dining halls and the Grease Trucks. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your meal plan and other dining options:

The Dining Hall tries to accommodate healthier eating styles.

Be aware of how the food is prepared: food that is fried or covered in gravy is generally full of calories and fat.  Choose healthy alternatives to heavy courses such as lean lunch meat like turkey or ham.

The salad bar is always available as a heathy alternative (with a low-fat dressing).  Be aware that salads, such as tuna, chicken and seafood salads have mayonnaise, which makes a generally low-fat food, full of fat. 

Use low-fat or skim milk instead of whole milk. If you want dessert, try the low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice-cream. 

Access to Registered Dietitian (RU-Camden)

Make sure to Eat “Breakfast.”

Eating something within an hour of when waking up (not just coffee or tea), is very important – it raises your blood sugar, basically jump-starts your metabolism and gives your body fuel to start the day. Proteins such as milk, yogurt and eggs help supply the most efficient sustained energy, while carbohydrates, like cereal or toast help supply quick energy. A combination of the two (for example, cereal with low-fat milk, or eggs and toast) is the best option for your first meal.

Campus Food Trucks…

are notorious for having greasy, fattening fast food. Try to select healthy options, such as hummus sandwiches, fruit, bagels, (with very little cream cheese or jelly), snacks (like pretzels), and even salads (if available).

Midnight Hunger Pangs…

happen to the best of us, especially after a late night out. When pizza, fried foods and other heavy food are eaten late at night right before going to bed, the digestion process is slowed down, which could result in heart burn and indigestion. If you get hungry, it’s better to eat lighter foods, such as fruits (you can get at the grease trucks), light popcorn, pretzels or animal crackers.

Alcoholic Beverages…

are high in calories and low in nutritional content. Drinking alcohol in excess is unhealthy and can make you feel sluggish. In addition, the digestion of alcoholic beverages may promote weight gain. If you decide to drink, use alcohol sparingly and be responsible.

Balance and Moderation

Let’s face it, there are going to be times when you just want those french fries with cheese sauce or a big burger from the grease trucks. That’s OK – you can splurge every now and then. It’s just not a good idea to eat those things on a daily basis. Also, when you do splurge, compensate by eating a big salad, for example, for your next meal.


especially have to be careful to make sure that they have enough protein and other nutrients in their daily diets. Cheese, milk, beans, tofu, hummus, nuts and peanut butter are a few good example of foods that are rich in protein. It may be a good idea to consult with  someone at health services (doctor or nurse practitioner) to discuss further options and to be aware of what nutrients you may be missing.