Q & A with Sodexo Campus Services Regional Dietitian Karen Jew
Right before Thanksgiving break, I was able to attend an event on health and nutrition with Sodexo Campus Services Regional Dietitian, Karen Jew. Jew has visited our dining hall multiple times and was impressed by the various arrays of fruits and vegetables available. Compared to the 24 other schools she visits, we are the only school that has fresh berries every day. Here are some of the tips and advice she shared about eating healthy on-campus.
SP: What are your main suggestions for students struggling to eat healthy on campus?
KJ: I would suggest planning ahead and utilizing the resources available. For example, using the Sodexo nutritional value app. This will allow you to plan what you will be eating for the day and how many calories you are consuming so that you are not wasting time searching for a healthy meal.
SP: Are there certain ideas you have regarding health and nutrition for underclassmen students that are unable to cook for themselves?
KJ: Some ideas for healthy snacks and foods you can store in your dorm are oatmeal, rice cakes, celery, carrots, peanut butter, hummus, whole wheat pitas, cereal, skim milk and whole fruit. These items are healthy options that have a long shelf life and will not spoil quickly.
SP: What do you feel are the most helpful services Sodexo provides for promoting health and nutrition?
KJ: I think MyFitnessPal is a very helpful app that promotes health and nutrition. It does this by taking the first step of bringing your awareness to what you are eating and continuing on to the second step, which is making you realize what positive changes to your eating you can make.
SP: Do you have any suggestions for students with food allergies?
KJ: My biggest advice is to be an advocate. If you have another food allergy outside of the top eight, talk to the chef. Sodexo wants to make sure you are being provided with the foods you need regarding your food allergy. Simple servings is available, which caters to those with food allergies.
SP: What are some main things students should steer clear of to stay healthy?
KJ: Make mindful choices, consider bounds, and have normal portion sizes. MyPlate can be your guideline: Try to incorporate at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the United States, and it can be avoided through proper exercise and diet. What you eat is a main factor in your health, and it can be difficult to eat healthy on a college campus.
As Jew emphasizes, it is all about the choice. We are fortunate enough to have fresh fruit provided daily and a stir fry station to let us get creative with our meals. I hope this interview helped students to realize what healthy options are available in the dining hall and that if you have questions, there are resources available to help you. Jew can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org to help students with any other questions.