The Freshman 15
Summer is coming to a close. The kids will be going back to school. The recent high school graduates will be heading off to college. As parents, we are excited, nervous, proud, and have many more emotions surrounding this. We like to think we have prepared them well. They are ready to be on their own...right? One of the areas that will be new to many kids is being in charge of all of their food choices. I think I have taught my child how to make good food choices, but have I? Studies of college students have shown that the majority of students gain weight during college. This is likely from a variety of reasons. The dorm cafeteria may have unlimited food. Freshman students may be less active than they were in high school. Sleep patterns change.There is more late night studying...and this can lead to late night snacking. There may be more alcohol consumption. Overall, eating more and moving less leads to weight gain.
What kind of reminders can help college student stay healthy?
Be aware of food choices. Watch the portion sizes. Don't drink your calories. Alcoholic beverages can be high calorie and provide no nutrition. Try to establish a routine so you are not skipping meals and then overeating later when you are "starving". Stay active and find a friend to work out with. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Keep healthy snacks available in your dorm room. Keep track of your weight by finding a scale (usually one in the gym). If you are wearing stretchy clothes and yoga pants every day, be sure to put on the jeans at least once a week to be sure they still fit.
The food choices the kids make now will likely affect them as they get older. Send your kids off to college to learn, have fun, and stay healthy.