The Lazy Diner’s Way to Zest up Dorm Food in a Jiffy

Dining hall food at college isn’t all that bad. In fact, it’s pretty delicious! After all, college costs enough that the food should at least be decent. Don’t think that your dining experience will be dreary every day. You don’t have to be Emeril or a contestant on Top Chef to jazz up your food. With a couple simple tricks and tips, meals go from edible to “Bravo!”

Wait, that’s not a donut…

Bagels are a quick and easy breakfast food on your way to class. Don’t just stick to the classic plain or creamed cheese covered treat. Explore the toppings bar in your dining hall. Peanut butter goes great with bagels, and it offers a source of protein and fiber. If you don’t want to feel like you’re cheating on your usual PB&J sandwich, add some jelly to the bagel. Think of it as a PB&J sandwich on the go! And the beautiful part is you’ll never be too old for this traditional treat.

Bagels aren’t your thing in the morning? Go with the classic pancakes or waffles. Try the different flavors. Strawberry, blueberry, or, even better, chocolate flavors are available. Many dining halls have waffle makers that may offer an alternate flavor to the original. Spiff up your waffle or pancake by throwing fresh fruit on top.

What’s that green thing?

Salad bars are a godsend in college. Students don’t have to cut, wash, and prepare a salad. It’s all ready and presented for you! Don’t just stick to the typical iceberg lettuce with Ranch dressing. There’s so much more the salad bar has to offer! Throw some spinach into the mix for sources of iron and Vitamin C. Don’t just restrict yourself to the greens. Take a gander at the various toppings, ranging from carrots to tofu to tomatoes. There’s plenty of food to make your salad more colorful and more nutritious.

Would you like milk with that cereal?

Cereal is a staple of every child’s breakfast. That doesn’t have to end in college. Stick to your favorites or mix it up a little! Mixing cereal is an art form. Just ask Gilmore Girls. Pairing appealing sugary cereals with healthier, bland cereal makes being a little healthier easier. Even the milk will help mask the nutritious cereals. For instance, mix Cocoa Puffs with Wheaties to eat chocolate goodness. After all, it is the Breakfast of Champions.

A little less carbonated, please

Drinking pop can be tempting, but drinking soda everyday puts too much sugar and empty calories into your system. With fountain pop at your disposable every day in the dining hall, it’s an easy way to put on pounds without realizing it. Choosing healthier drinks spruces up your meal. Juice, milk, and water are always offered in dining halls. However, if a tasty treat is calling your name, it’s okay to go a little less healthy every once in a while. Stop by the ice cream server before grabbing some root beer to make a root beer float. It’s an easy way to make a savory treat.

Choose what you like, but remember to eat smart. After all, the freshman fifteen is looming over your head. Just because you are trying to eat healthy doesn’t mean you can’t spice up your meals. With these tricks, it’s easy to make a dining hall more fun. You don’t have to be at home to get cooking as delicious as Mom’s.

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Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs is a sophomore at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a News-Editorial Journalism degree. An avid bookworm, Rebecca reads all texts Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut when she’s not busy writing for The Black Sheep on campus. Back home, she spends a vast amount of time enjoying nature with loved ones.