Welcome to your university's cafeteria!

Suddenly, you're faced with a variety of food options and limitless portions.

Deciding what to eat has just gotten easier...or has it?

With a little planning, you can navigate the pitfalls of eating healthy at your university’s cafeteria.

A woman in front of an animation of different types of food

Make Healthy Eating A Priority

A woman saying

Eating healthy can be a struggle, especially when burgers and fries, pizza, or tacos are so satisfying!

Making healthy food choices daily may be difficult but not impossible. It'll help you:

  • Improve your mood

  • Sleep better

  • Boost your academic performance

  • Support weight management

Understand How To Eat Healthy At The Cafeteria

  • Eat foods that really fill you up

  • Watch portion sizes from empty-calorie foods

  • Be smart about beverages and drink more water

  • Add one piece of fruit or serving of colorful vegetable to every meal

  • Balance out your plate with these three important nutrients: carbs, protein, and fiber

Use the one-quarter rule:

  • One-quarter of your plate = protein (usually best if cooked with fat)

    • Eg. chicken, fish, tofu, chickpeas

  • One-quarter of your plate = a starchy carbohydrate , preferably one that’s high in fiber

    • Eg. yams, corn, squash

  • Two-quarters or half of your plate = non-starchy vegetables

    • Eg. broccoli, salad greens


What's the key to healthy eating at your university's cafeteria?

Basing food choices on cravings

Hydrating with juice and soda

Aiming for a balanced plate

Filling plates with large portions

Be Intentional

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  • Establish an eating routine using your schedule

  • Figure out which dining hall works best for you

  • Review the cafeteria’s menu for healthy options

  • Know where the healthy options are in your cafeteria

  • Have a “meal game plan” before heading to the cafeteria

  • Once in the cafeteria, stick to your "meal game plan"

Take Action

A man saying,

For a healthy cafeteria eating plan:


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This Byte has been authored by


Chantal Lerebours

Learning Designer