Eating on Campus

Eating on campus is not as hard as you might think! Sometimes it takes a little creativity, but there are plenty of ways you can add variety and healthful foods into your diet while living on campus. Here are a few tips for eating at the Dining Center to get you started! 

Get to Know your Options: You can use the Dining Center App to find nutrition facts, what is being offered at which dining halls, and times of each dining hall. This is a great way to know exactly what you want to eat before you go into the dining center and become overwhelmed.

Make your Plate Look like MyPlate: NDSU has great salad bars that make it easy to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. With all of the variety you can switch up your choices every day! Make sure you are using all different colored fruits and veggies every time. You should be getting five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. You are allowed to bring a piece of fruit out after your meal at the dining center. This is a great way to get all of your servings in and have a free healthier snack option later in the day!

Take a Break While You Eat: Leaving the school work for later will help you avoid over eating. You want to be mindful when you eat so you know what you are eating, how fast you are eating, and how much you are eating. Use this time to socialize with friends or just take a break and relax!

Add Protein: Adding protein to every meal can make sure you stay full longer. Protein doesn’t have to be meat. Other great protein options include: nuts, Greek yogurt, eggs, nut butter, milk, quinoa, tofu, beans, peas, edamame, and so much more!

Remember to Eat: When the school year is in full swing life gets busy and it may be hard to remember to eat. Skipping meals may cause you to eat more later in the day. Try to find a meal schedule that works with your class schedule. If you are eating in the Dining Centers, you are paying for your meals so you might as well use them!

Ditch the Sugary Drinks: Drinks can add a lot of calories each day. While The Bison Beanery in RDC is included in your meal plan, be mindful about how often or what you are drinking while you are there. Skip the pop or juice and substitute it for water or milk to cut back the sugar and calories with your meal!

Don’t Restrict Yourself: Let yourself get the burger and fries, pizza, or the ice cream - just in moderation. Eat the unhealthier options, but have them once in a while so you don’t feel like you are missing out!

Schedule an Appointment with the Dietitian: If you have any questions, need meal ideas, or just want to know more about eating a healthier diet, schedule a Dietitian appointment. Just call Student Health Service at 701-231-7331 or use the Student Health Portal.                                                

Additional Dining Center Quick Tips:
  • Did you know at the West Dining Center (WDC) there is a whole station that avoids the top 8 allergies? This station is called the Clean Eats station which is the first station on the right when you walk through the doors. As a bonus, the whole West Dining Center is a nut free facility.
    • If you do have allergy concerns and want extra help making sure you avoid these you can contact Hannah Prigge at and she would be glad to help show you all of your options.
  • All of the Dining Centers now have milk alternatives. RDC and the Union have almond milk and the WDC has rice milk and soy milk to stay nut free.
  • At the Grill Station (located in the RDC and WDC) if you want to skip the bun, fries, or only want an egg, just ask! No need to take the whole basket if you won’t eat it. They would be happy to make your basket with just what you will eat.
  • You can always see what is on the menu by checking out the This Week's Menus webpage. 
  • The Dining Center also has an app (“NDSU Dining”) where you can view each dining centers menu, hours, and nutrition facts right from your phone. This is a great way to make healthier choices before you step foot into the dining center. Free download for Andorid or Apple device
  • The West Dining Center offers late night hours until 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday and the West Dining Center has extended hours Sunday until 9 p.m. Perfect for all of your late night studying
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