TitanWell hosted a lunch “FOODucation” seminar on nutrition basics in the Gastronome to educate students busy with classes and upcoming finals about healthy eating on Wednesday.
Fabian Aguilar and Vanessa Orozco, TitanWell Peer Health Educators, educated students about the meaning of calories, sugars, protein, fiber as well as the measurements for balancing each category in a student’s daily diet.
The presentation was based on Choose MyPlate, a program from the United States Department of Agriculture that motivates people to eat healthier by balancing the five main food groups: fruits, vegetables, protein, grains and dairy.
Morgan Broadaway, a human services major, said that since she does not have a gallbladder, she wanted information on how to eat healthier in a way that would also accommodate her health circumstances.
“I wanted to come and learn better strategies to eat and stay healthy,” Broadaway said. “I wanted to have a better plan on how to eat, so to eat more vegetables or get more protein instead of having to eat so much meat.”
Alondra Castro, child and adolescent development major, said she attended the event to make sure she was getting enough protein in her vegetarian diet.
“I definitely think that I can incorporate more into it, just because I’ve been very busy with school that I haven’t been cooking my meals right now,” Castro said.
In addition to getting information on the food groups, the students also participated in an interactive activity where they planned a balanced meal using the MyPlate template and food pictures.
Castro said the activity was a helpful reminder of what a balanced meal looks like.
“I think it was a good way to have a visual representation of how your plate should look like during meals,” Castro said.
Castro also said that while planning is helpful, actually making healthy meals is another challenge.
Orozco gave an example of what a healthy meal or snack can look like: a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread.
“I think for the most part, you can plan out your meal in your head, but the execution doesn’t always reflect what your plate should look like, a healthy meal,” Castro said.
To be healthy, Broadaway and Castro recommended preparing healthy snacks to munch on between back-to-back classes or while studying.
“I think definitely the biggest takeaway is to just pack your own snacks. You know, that way you know what you’re putting into your body,” Castro said.
Broadaway also said a great way to save while meal prepping is to buy plain mixed nuts at Walmart, and follow Orozco’s suggestion to buy bags of fruit at the 99 Cents Only stores to save money while eating healthy.