The Importance of Eating Healthy While Managing School


When students start college, they are essentially free to do whatever they want without the guidance from their parents; including making decisions about their eating habits.

According to an article from Health Marketing Quarterly, when students transition to college, their eating habits worsen.

Natalie Baker is a nutritional Consultant for Healthy Meals To Go, a healthy fast food establishment that provides provide individually packaged fresh healthy meals that you microwave. She said it is a good option for busy college students like her.

“It’s really hard to fit all of that into your schedule,” Baker said. “To try and get it done, yeah you can for maybe a week or two but then you fall off the wagon a little bit, but this just makes it so easily accessible.”

She said that in order to get healthy you have to start somewhere.

“It’s like the rule of thumb that if you keep at it for four weeks, you actually form a habit,” Baker said. “So as long as you do it for that long, you’re able to do it, and you’d be surprised at what you’re capable of doing once you set your mind to it.”

Baker added that lack of time contributes to unhealthy eating.

“I think because so many people are so busy nowadays that they don’t have time to go to the grocery store, cook their food, actually meal prep,” Baker said. “I’m like a walking example of that between school and work itself.”

Tayler Parker is a full-time psychology student and premedical student taking 18 hours of classes and working two jobs. Whether it is studying for her senior Spanish class, volunteering at the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research, being a supplemental instruction leader for an organic chemistry course, or working as a health unit coordinator at UMC, Parker has a full schedule.

“I’m extremely busy; I have two jobs and take 18 hours of classes, but I still find time to cook and eat healthy,” Parker said.

The last thing on most students’ mind is what they are going to be eating. However, Parker manages to find time in her schedule to make sure she is eating health consciously. Parker’s usual meal consists of sautéed chicken, with different sautéed vegetables, and some type of carb to go with it, like rice.

“Sometimes it’s really difficult especially with classes but meals like I prepared tonight, they don’t take very long to make,” Parker said. “As long as you have everything prepared you can have a healthy meal in 10 or 15 minutes.”

Parker said that even if she doesn’t have time to cook something for herself, she would make the healthiest decision she can with the resources she has. For example, if she sees Chick Fil A, she will grab a grilled chicken sandwich rather than a fried sandwich.

“Just be conscious about the food decisions you’re making,” Parker said.

Also, she added that students forget about their health once they get to college.

“So I think it’s important to establish healthy eating habits while were in college,” Parker said, “and to exercise and stay healthy so we can be prepared to do that for the rest of our lives.”


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