Saturday, June 22, 2024

Back to School Guide: Healthier snack options make difference

The likelihood for Plattsburgh State students to have a healthy diet while attending college is more plausible then most students would imagine. Dealing with the change of home cooking to convenient food such as hamburgers, fries and soda, available at our disposal makes eating healthy a real challenge.

“As opposed to having two cans of soda you can get four gallons of soda or anything if you really wanted it, and that’s not good,” English major, Brittany Croniser said.

Clinton and Algonquin, two of the most frequented dining halls on campus for most newcomers, don’t regulate how much a student is allowed to consume since they both follow the same format as an all-you-can style buffet, all for the low price of one meal swipe.

Jeff Valle, the school’s dietician, said that they are varieties of food given, but it’s what the student chooses to eat that makes their diet unbalanced.

“It’s not really what you eat per meal that students should worry about, it’s what you’re eating the course of the day. You can have your Oreos if you wanted or a little sweet for yourself. You can fit that in. It’s all about moderation,” Valle said
One common issue on campus is the many ranges of diets that students have. Whether it be a personal choice or not, all food venues on campus provide a range of foods for those with food allergies and vegan or vegetarian needs.

The campus serves a great amount of different types of food. “It is student select,” Ena Joseph, director of the PSUC Nutrition Program, said.

“They need to know how they can select food groups to get a proper balance. If they can choose from each group and make a good meal, they can get a good meal, but the problem is they walk past it,” Joseph said.

The school provides a service in which students can ask for certain food items that aren’t on display by request. “We have black bean, tofu and turkey burgers all upon request. We can’t keep it out there because we want to switch out the protein out there, but if you want it, you have to ask for it and we will cook it for you. These items are displayed and listed on signs at each station,” Valle said.

Learning to choose healthier choices isn’t something that only new students struggle with, but students who have attended school longer have dealt with as well. The transition from eating what is good for you versus what you want to eat isn’t an easy task. “It’s hard. It’s almost impossible to cut something cold turkey,” Croniser said.

During her first year, with the freedom of many meal plans provided, Croniser recalled using it to purchase many gallons of soda and candy simply because she could. She is now more aware of what she eats and tries to eat a little better.

“I don’t want to say I watch it meticulously because I really don’t, but I would say that I would have one can of soda opposed to going to Clinton and having seven cups of soda. You shouldn’t tell yourself, ‘Oh, I’m not going to have any soda at all,’ because you’re not going to stay with that,” she said.

Along with a good diet, keeping one’s self active and exercising will also help maintain a healthy weight. Justin Seymour, a physics adolescent education major, used to deal with his stress by consuming large portions of food. In order to change his diet, he decided to find a healthier method to relieve his stress. He now resorts to running on a treadmill in Memorial Hall.
“The gym definitely comes in handy. If my friends and I get stressed or angry from homework that I don’t understand, instead of stress-eating, we go to work out,” Seymour said.

There are many alternatives foods and choices that are available on campus, but the choice is always a student’s to take. Having a healthy diet is an obtainable goal if you are truly dedicated to it, Croniser said.

“You just have to make sure you think about it. Don’t get caught up with convenience and all the new things around you. You have four years here. You have time to try everything,” Croniser said.

Email Cierra Patterson at


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