Food, Nutrition & Cooking

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Knowing how to feed yourself well with real food is a resilience-building skill that requires practice and sometimes benefit from good coaching. The Health Promotion Office provides services and programs based on these four key concepts for eating well:

  • Aim for nutrient density – ratio of vital nutrients to energy units (calories)
  • Manage caloric density – energy units in food portion (calories per serving)
  • Select portions based on individual goals
  • Choose sustainably-grown food

When people learn how to choose mindfully in dining venues, shop from the Basic Pantry list, cook from Basic Pantry Recipes, they know how to maximize nutrient density by eating lots of foods that are dark colors like green, orange, red. These are typically veggies, fruits (not juices) and whole grains.  They minimize caloric density by eating foods that are minimally processed (whole fruit instead of juice, for example), frequently choose plant proteins and use high-fat foods like condiments instead of the main course. They also pay attention to portion size so calorie-dense foods are eaten in reasonable quantities. They select sustainably-grown foods and stay well-hydrated with fluids that are not sugar water (sodas, sports drinks and juices.)

The Health Promotion Office has PROGRAMS like Cooking Workshops taught by chefs who teach how to cook with real food and SERVICES like the Nutrition Navigators who guide students to find nutrient-dense food in on-campus dining venues.