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Making Meals Work in College

1. Stock Up On Snacks

Try to make sure you have nutrition available to you at all times. Keep some snacks in your room to have if you get hungry or don’t have time to go and get a snack from the dining hall. Also, keep a snack on you during the day and while in classes, you never know what might happen, having food on you at all times ensures you can get nutrition when you need it.

2. Plan Mealtimes When Building Your Schedule

Registering for classes can be challenging and fitting all of your required courses onto a schedule can be a puzzle but try your best to leave times open for meals. Make room in your schedule for meals and treat it like another class, something you can’t miss. If you attend mostly afternoon classes, set aside a lunch time. If you tend to register for night classes, make sure you are making time for dinner. Also remember to always eat breakfast. Plan what you will eat for breakfast, where you will eat it, and when you will eat it ahead of time to make sure it doesn’t get skipped.

3. Be Mindful When Building Your Plate

There are a lot of options at college dining halls and knowing what foods to put on your plate can be challenging. Think about what you want to eat. What looks good to you? Be adventurous and try new foods you haven’t has before. Plate a meal that will satisfy you, and that you will truly enjoy. Once you have identified what you want to eat, make sure you are taking enough to adequately meet your needs. Lastly, remember balance. You want your meal to incorporate foods from each major food group.

4. Know Your Dining Options

Most college campuses have food available in several locations. Get a map of your campus and

find the locations that offer food. Ask around and

see where is good to eat and plan ahead where you want to have your meals and snacks. If you can, get a dining hall meal schedule for the week so you can decide if they will be offering something you enjoy and plan to eat elsewhere if you don’t think you will like what is going to be offered.

5. Get Your Lunch the Night Before

If you find yourself crunched on time during the day, think about getting food from the dining hall for your lunch the next day when you are there for dinner, so you don’t have to spend time going to the dining hall again. If the containers you are given are too big to fit in your refrigerator, utilize Tupperware to put your lunch in so it is in a more compact space.

6. Avoid Monotony

Try not to eat the same things every day. Incorporating variety into your meals is an important factor that affects the satisfaction and enjoyment of eating. It’s easy to fall back on the same things as they have worked for you or felt “safe” in the past but branching out and incorporating different foods is a good way to challenge your eating disorder and enhance your eating experience. If this seems scary to you, it’s okay! You don’t have to do it all at once. Start small and build from there.

7. Go in a Group

Go to the dining hall with one or more friends. Having friends nearby during a meal can be helpful if you are feeling overwhelmed or having a hard time. It can also make mealtime more fun, and it is a good way to be social and form stronger relationships.

What's worked for you? Have any other tips? Let us know what you think!

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