Keep Your Weight At Bay When You Get To College

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Keep Your Weight At Bay When You Get To College
Keep Your Weight At Bay When You Get To College

Sylvia Meléndez-Klinger, registered dietitian and mother of a young university student and a senior in high school gives us some tips to avoid gaining weight when you are about to enter college:

1. What do you recommend to the boys who start college so that their diet remains balanced?

First of all, I advise you to start the day well to be successful. That is, remind them to wake up a few minutes early to reach breakfast in the dining room. Also advise them to serve food on a small plate instead of a tray, so they avoid eating more than they need to start the day. If they're in a hurry to get to class, they can eat a piece of fruit or a handful of walnuts so they don't run out of energy and keep metabolism active.

2. Tell us, what recipes are easy and nutritious to prepare when you are studying in college and not resort to junk food?

They can avoid resorting to junk food by having ingredients stored to prepare healthy meals or snacks. In addition, it is a cheaper solution since eating in restaurants is usually more expensive. For example, give them raisins, peanuts and mini-chocolates to make a mixture rich in protein, fiber and many other nutrients but with a good flavor.

3. What do you recommend to eat between classes?

Sweet treats attack us more between meals or at midnight and always seem irresistible, but there are many foods and drinks that contain little or zero calorie content that are a good option for students and avoid gaining weight without sacrificing a sweet taste. Plus, they help with cravings by keeping them satisfied. Beyond that, it's good to have healthy snacks on hand. For example, yogurt, walnuts, canned or dried fruit are good options for snacking between meals or during a long night of study.

4. What can parents do?

As Latinos, we are used to eating typical dishes that are made by mom. When our college students leave, they tend to eat more because they can't find the flavors that remind them of the house and satisfy the craving. Occasionally, Mom and Dad can send their children a packet of some Latin ingredient or their favorite snack in small portions. For example, high-fiber cookies and cereals, canned fruits, nuts, dried fruits, and low-calorie drinks are good options. The idea is to send a healthy package but with a lot of love.

5. What mistakes should kids avoid when they can make decisions about what to eat themselves?

The cafeterias in the universities, being buffet style, have no limit, so the boys tend to eat huge portions. Portion control is important as everything in moderation can be part of a healthy diet. For example, I recommend having small products like Coca-Cola mini can that are excellent for portion control and not breaking the diet. In addition, they fit in the "mini fridge" in the bedroom. It is preferable to have everything in moderation than to deprive them of everything since they end up eating too much. Other recommended foods include low-fat fruit yogurt, cheese in individual servings such as sticks, or Nutri-Grain cereal bars or pellets. Also remember that canned fruits and vegetables as well as dried fruits and nuts are very nutritious and do not require refrigeration.

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