For this edition of Campus Shout Outs, we decided to take a look at one of the main dining halls at the University of Pittsburgh, Market Central. Foodie On Campus found a few students and employees to give us the scoop on how they stay healthy while eating on campus.
Market Central, like many college dining halls, provides a wide variety of food stations with no limits on the amount of food students can take. Whether you are in the mood for ethnic cuisine, soup and salad or a burger and fries, the options are there. How can you avoid overeating and stay healthy with so many choices?
Ashleigh Holmes, a sophomore at Pitt, eats on campus about five times per week. When asked about portion control, she answered, “by starting my meals with liquids and foods high in water, such as fruits and vegetables, my stomach feels full and I am less tempted to overindulge in desserts”. Her favorite healthy meal is a grilled chicken salad full of vegetables and beans from the salad bar.
Some students think that college dining halls have limited options for individuals following vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diets, but that is not the case. Fortunately, Market Central has made several changes to make sure students with these needs have several options to choose from. For example, Erica Bechtold, a senior and student worker at Market Central, follows a vegetarian diet. While she is able to find several vegetarian dishes made with quinoa and kale, she states, “I love the wraps. They always have hummus, sometimes have tofu, and have the same, if not more, fresh vegetable topping options than Subway.”
Students today have a greater awareness of healthy eating and colleges are taking notice. Erica also mentioned that the salad bar has expanded to serve whole grain pasta, orzo and couscous, which are all great options when available. As for desserts, “the dessert bar has six or so flavors of ice cream, but also has a fat free peach frozen yogurt.” While traditional toppings for ice cream are available, she mentions, “half of the toppings at the dessert and waffle bar are fruit” and can be a healthier choice.
Finally, there isn’t always enough time to sit and eat. This is where the Quick Zone comes in. Located just outside of Market Central, the Quick Zone offers a variety of groceries, pre-made meals and bottled beverages for purchase. Christina Proch, a senior, reaches for “Greek yogurt with a side of fresh fruit or a pre-made salad” as two of her favorite grab and go lunches between classes.
Everyone has different needs from following a specific diet to keeping portions down or finding a quick lunch. Colleges are listening and making changes as students request more options for eating healthy on campus.
Photos: Hannah Williams