Making healthy choices with regard to nutrition can be overwhelming. Follow these guidelines to ensure proper nutrition. Looking for more in-depth or specific information? Come to the Wellness Center and talk to a Peer Educator or contact the Counseling Center and set up a meeting with our consulting nutritionist. This service is available to all St. Olaf students at no charge.

How much of what should I be eating?

  • Fruit– fruits are low in fat, sodium and calories and are also the source of essential nutrients including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and folate (folic acid). Generally, it is recommended to have 2 cups a day.  Fruits should cover ¼ of your plate.
  • Vegetables–  vegetable contain essential nutrients such as potassium, dietary fiber, folate, and vitamins A and C. Most veggies are naturally low in fat and calories and do not have cholesterol. Generally, college students should have about 2 ½ – 3 cups a day.
  • Grains– Grains have many nutrients including dietary fiber, B vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium and selenium. Generally, college students should eat 6 – 8 ounces a day.
  • Protein– protein contains B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc and magnesium.  Proteins facilitate bone, muscle, cartilage, and skin growth and they are also the building blocks of enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. Generally, college students should eat 6 – 8 ounces a day.
  • Dairy– dairy products contain calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D. Generally, college students should have three cups of dairy a day.
  • Oils–  oils are not a food group but they do provide essential nutrients. Most oils are high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats and are low in saturated fats. Generally, college students should consume about 6 – 7 teaspoons of oils a day.

For more information on serving sizes check out

Snack Ideas
  • Plain low-fat yogurt (add pure honey or a dash of cinnamon for flavor and taste)
  • Part-skim cheese
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables (with low-fat dips, such as hummus)
  • Toasted whole-grain English muffins, bagels, and bread
  • Rice cakes with light cream cheese
  • Unbuttered and lightly salted popcorn (try salt substitutes such as garlic powder)
  • Dry-roasted, unsalted nuts and unsalted seeds
  • Raisins and other dried fruits
  • Low- sodium soups
  • Cocoa made with low-fat milk
  • Herbal teas (decaffeinated is best)
  • Water-based sherbet or sorbet
  • Frozen low-fat yogurt