Help Students Fight the Freshman 15

Most college and university students are about to start (or already starting) the spring semester. It's the perfect time to help them implement better eating habits, and fight the "freshman 15."

While it may not be true that all college students put on weight during their first year, nearly one quarter of first-year students gain about ten pounds. There are many contributing factors to their weight gain, from all-you-can-eat style dining halls to increased consumption of alcohol and unhealthy snacks.

If you're an operator in the C&U segment, try these tips to keep a healthy selection of great-tasting food available for students:

  • Better breakfast—While cereal and bagels may be a staple at the dining hall, that doesn't mean you can't lighten up your other offerings. For reduced calories and fat, swap turkey sausage for regular sausage. Add sliced turkey medallions to your made-to-order omelet station for a healthy mix-in option.
  • Healthy snacks—Students can't make smart snack choices if healthy options aren't available. Turkey can be a tasty ingredient in a high-protein snack to help students avoid overeating. Offer half sandwiches to go with a slice of low fat cheese, turkey, veggies and mustard for a filling snack.
  • Classic comfort foods—While at school, students will be craving their favorite home-cooked meals. Mimic comforting flavors in a healthier way by using turkey in your recipe. Try ground turkey in lasagna, tacos and chili. Use turkey bacon in BLTs, or crumbled turkey sausage on pizza. Students don't have to totally change their eating habits to avoid gaining weight—small swaps can make a big difference.

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