Eating healthfully at college is no easy task

By Erin Valentine

It’s not easy eating green – or saving green.

Students in universities across the country have to face a daily choice of what to eat, where to eat, and how much time and money to spend on it.


Photo by Erin Valentine

Students at Elon University have the same concerns, with multiple solutions.

Elon senior Jenny Gardner finds that staying away from the meal plan feels her appetite, and wallet, better.

“I don’t love what they have on campus,” said Gardner. “It gets old pretty quickly. I figured I would be saving a lot more money if I bought my own food. I try to eat healthy because that way I know what I’m eating.”

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Gardner makes weekly trips to the grocery store and tries to always have on hand frozen salmon, chicken, rice and arugula.

Infographic – 10 ways to eat healthy in college

Other students have different ways of coping with the meal plan.

Amy DeNenno, Elon junior, finds that avoiding certain tempting food locations in place of healthier ones is the way to go.

“It is definitely difficult when you go in to Acorn because at the checkout counter they have cookies and pastries and a whole bunch of stuff,” said DeNenno. “It’s really hard to turn that down. But if you stay around Freshii it’s pretty easy.”

DeNenno keeps rice cakes, peanut butter, eggs and turkey sausage at home to keep her going in-between meals instead of succumbing to an Acorn cookie.

According to Elon’s Dining Services website, meal plans can range anywhere from $2,500 to over $6,000. If a student spends roughly $75 at the grocery each week, they can spend around $1,500 for the semester on the majority of their meals.

Students have options on and off campus, it just depends on what the right eating plan might be for each person.


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