Eating healthy on campus

4 12 2008

Kara Bertrand
Life Reporter, Humber Et Cetera
Published: January 16, 2008

Food services has different healthy choices for students.

Humber North is scattered with food choices, but finding the right selection can be difficult.
The ability for students to find healthy choices on campus is fueled by a trend that reaches beyond its doors, say caterers and dietitians.

“There’s no question that there’s a trend towards food that has good quality behind it,” said Humber Room Manager Richard Pitteway. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t have fat, butter or salt, it’s just that you don’t overwhelm the food with those kinds of ingredients.”

The Humber Room is a restaurant learning facility for culinary and hospitality students, offering daily lunches and weekly dinners.

Healthy options are available at the Humber Room, with main course dishes ranging from $9.75 to $10.50.

“We use fresh ingredients for everything we have,” said Pitteway.

Kim Mantovani, food services director, said healthy options are incorporated into all the food venues on campus.

The Food Emporium, Java Jazz and residence restaurants are operated by Chartwell’s, a company that creates food programs for schools.

“We have a program called Balanced Choices, which is worked out through our head office in terms of dietary requirements,” said Mantovani.

The items containing the Balanced Choices label include salads, wraps, and sandwiches that are low in fat and contain fresh ingredients.

The salad bar in the Food Emporium is an option and prices are measured by weight with a maximum cost of $5.90.

Students may face difficulties when attempting to eat healthy on any college campus.

“The biggest challenge would be variety,” said Mantovani. “It’s easy to go for the carbs, and the fats, but when it comes to healthy, we get bored quickly.”

Liz Pearson, a registered dietitian at the Pearson Institute of Nutrition, warned against including alcohol in a student diet.

“Any will power that someone had to eat healthy all goes out the window with alcohol.”

Cara Rosenbloom, a dietitian at Words to Eat By, said that students may find it difficult to locate healthy options on campus, resorting to unhealthy food to satisfy cravings.

“Since fast food options scatter most college campuses, it is easy to get caught in that trap and overindulge in non-nutritious meals,” she said.

Rosenbloom recommended a regular lunch should contain from 500 to 700 calories, but a burger, fries and pop contains almost 1,200 calories.

She said students should choose healthy options at fast food outlets such as salads, sandwiches on whole grain bread, fresh fruit and stir-fries.