Cooking a well-balanced meal doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming. According to Sarah Bellini, BYU associate professor of nutrition, dietetics, and food, it’s something every student can easily do—once they know what to look for.
Cooking a well-balanced meal doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming. According to Bellini, it’s something every student can easily do—once they know what to look for.
Bellini said that one of the most common misconceptions students have about cooking healthy is knowing what is healthy. “People think, if I’m healthy, I’m going to have to cook all organic or have fresh fruit and vegetables all the time,” Bellini said. “You just have to eat them!”
Bellini recommended using canned versions of fruits and vegetables since they have the same amount of vitamins and minerals but stay longer in the kitchen and are easy to use. In fact, fresh fruits and vegetables lose vitamin C over time, so Bellini encouraged students to utilize canned produce.
Bellini also shared tips for students on a budget trying to cook more healthy this semester. She recommended talking to roommates before shopping.
“Sometimes it is more cost effective to buy food in bulk and divide it up,” Bellini said. She also said to plan ahead by making a grocery list and shopping the shelf for food on sale. In the spirit of planning ahead, consider cooking a larger meal on the weekend and using food storage containers to portion out meals for busier nights.
Bellini isn’t the only one looking at the common misconception surrounding healthy cooking. Kaitlin Kartchner, the registered campus dietitian, said that many students incorrectly think that eating healthy means being super strict about your diet. “I think it’s very individual and doesn’t have to be a set plan,” Kartchner said.
For students living in a dorm, Kartchner recommended treating the Cannon Center like a grocery store and shopping around for your meal. “You can always build your own plate and make it what you want it to be,” she said.