Healthy Eating Off Meal Plan

Does it matter if I eat regular meals, or can I just "graze" during the day?

When you are no longer eating according to hours of the V-Dub or the Ratty, it isn't quite so important that each of your eating times represent a traditional meal. However, you stand a much better chance of getting in all your needed nutrients if you do have some sort of plan of eating vs. a hit-or-miss approach. Just how detailed this plan needs to be depends on your personality style, how much time you have to spare, your storage space and whether or not you are sharing your cooking and shopping with roommates.

Sometimes the easiest approach to meal planning is to think of dividing up your day into 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks. This spreads out your food intake so that you have a steady energy level throughout your waking hours, supporting all your activities. Because your brain also depends on a fairly even blood sugar level to function well, this also ensures that you will be giving it the fuel it needs on a regular basis.

In general, your 3 meals should provide 75% of your energy needs, and the remaining calories can be met by your snacks. Don't worry if you don't know the exact calorie content of the foods you eat. Just think about distributing foods fairly evenly at your meals, and at each meal have a good variety of foods (e.g., grains, proteins, vegetables and dairy or dairy substitutes). This ensures a broad nutrient intake, since no one food, no matter how nutritious, can provide all the basics your body needs. Likewise, if you consistently leave out or limit one major food group, your diet will probably be out of balance and may lack some essential nutrients. See more about this in Dietary Guidelines.

What should I think about to create a healthy meal?

Basic guidelines for most meal planning can begin with a meal that is approximately 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% proteins (e.g., meats, poultry, eggs, beans or tofu), and 25% grains. Aim for whole grains (e.g., brown rice vs. white rice, whole grain bread vs. white bread) as often as you can, but don't worry if some of your carbs are refined. Good complex carbohydrates (breads, cereals, rice, pastas, etc.) that are not whole grain will still give you excellent energy and plenty of nutrients. In addition to three main areas of your meal, adding a serving of low-fat milk (or calcium fortified milk substitute) or yogurt will help to round out the meal.

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I don't have time for breakfast…can I just eat a bigger lunch?

Eating early in the day gives your metabolism a head start; and studies have shown that rather than increasing your total food intake for the whole day, morning eating actually decreases binge eating later in the day. Data from 2002 even show that rates of overweight are lower in those who include breakfast than in those who wait until later in the day to start eating. Some students find it difficult to get up in time to prepare a meal before going off to morning classes. You may find that having something thought out the night before is a big help.

Examples of easy-to-prepare breakfasts include:

  • Yogurt and a small low-fat bran muffin
  • Bagel with a slice of low-fat cheese and a fresh banana (cream "cheese" is mostly a fat, and provides no protein, as opposed to a real cheese)
  • Packet of microwaveable oatmeal, with nuts and dried cranberries or raisins, cooked with low-fat milk instead of water
  • Leftover slice of pizza with a glass of juice
  • Peanut butter and banana slices in a pita
  • High protein, low-fat, high fiber "meal bar"

If you do have a little more time, you can be a lot more inventive about how you approach this first meal of the day. You can use leftovers from another meal or combine ingredients in the refrigerator with old stand-by breakfast favorites. Remember to aim for at least 3 different types of food groups at each meal. This helps to ensure that you are getting a wide variety of nutrients throughout the day.

Here are some breakfast ideas that you can try if you have a little more time in the morning:

  • Omelet with chopped vegetables, served with whole grain toast
  • Fruit smoothie with fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, sprinkled with low-fat granola or other cold cereal
  • Grilled cheese sandwich, made with low-fat cheese and whole grain bread, with a glass of fruit juice
  • Pancakes or freezer waffles, served with applesauce, cinnamon, and a glass of low-fat milk or container of fruit yogurt

Lunches are boring since I went off meal plan… how do I get out of my rut?

If 3 or more hours have passed since your first meal of the day, your blood sugar is dropping. Your energy levels and brain are probably signaling you that it is time to eat. Sometimes, feeling grumpy or lightheaded can be signals of hunger.

As with breakfast meals, leftovers can be a good resource to use for lunch meals. If you have a microwave, simply heating up leftovers that include some type of protein, and then adding a vegetable or fruit and some type of grain, will provide a basic meal. Rounding out lunch with low-fat milk or yogurt ensures another protein boost and is a great source of calcium that your body needs.

Here are just a few examples of lunches you can create quickly in your dorm room or apartment kitchen. Some of these ideas will also work well for bag lunches.

  • Canned soup that contains vegetables and some type of legume, such as chickpeas, black beans or lentils, along with bread and a green salad (can be served quickly from a purchased pre-bagged salad) with yogurt dressing
  • Leftover stir-fry with vegetables, tofu, and brown rice, heated in the microwave, with a glass of low-fat milk
  • Peanut butter and jam sandwich on wheat bread, baked black bean tortilla chips, and a fresh orange
  • Pita with sliced lean turkey, cranberry sauce, and sprouts, with a dish of frozen low-fat yogurt and cookies
  • Turkey breast on oat bran bread with green pepper rings and tomato slices, a piece of fresh fruit, peanut butter cookies, and low-fat yogurt
  • Vegetarian chili, wheat crackers, baby carrots, and a large apple
  • Cheese and apple slices on a pita, fruit, yogurt, and cookies

If you know you are going to be away from home at lunch, you can save a lot of time and money by packing your own lunch, or at least supplementing what you can pick up on campus. Many foods will keep well without being refrigerated, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, peanut butter, cooked legumes, and even yogurt for several hours. But if you are planning on bringing meat, poultry, fish, egg or dairy, use an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack. This is especially important if the temperatures are warm, and/or if you will be carrying this food longer than 2 hours.

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What's there to fix besides pasta for dinner?

Pasta and tomato sauce is always a great fall-back for dinner, because there is so much you can do to vary that menu (for protein, try adding soy crumbles or beans to the sauce). Just add a salad and you have a healthy meal. Here are some other easy dinners you can assemble in a dorm or small apartment kitchen:

  • Quick-cooking brown rice topped with stir-fry vegetable/chicken breast (or tofu/tempeh) mix; served with fruit and glass of low-fat milk
  • 2 slices of vegetable pizza (extra on the veggies, easy on the cheese); quick side salad of mixed raw vegetables (slice up a dark green or orange pepper for some concentrated vitamin C)
  • Western Scramble: 2 scrambled eggs, stirring in chopped vegetables that have been pre-cooked to soften (onions, green pepper, diced potato, broccoli pieces, etc.); served with English muffins topped with a tub margarine (e.g., Brummel & Brown, Heart Smart)
  • Vegetarian chili, served with large side salad and/or fruit; yogurt or low-fat milk. The beans in the chili provide protein, add a lot of healthful fiber to your diet, and help keep you feeling satisfied for a long time after you eat

Should I try to avoid snacks, or can they fit in a healthy eating plan?

Current recommendations support snacking as a way to boost your energy between meals and to furnish important nutrients that might be missing from your other meals during the day. Because many students find it hard to eat 3 regular meals a day, snacks become even more important as a way to fill in nutrition gaps created by an uncertain eating schedule. Moderate healthy snacks have also been shown to decrease late-day binge eating.

If 4 or 5 hours pass after eating even a fairly good sized meal, your stomach has emptied, and your blood sugar level has begun to drop. Not only will you probably begin to feel the sensations of hunger, other physical, emotional, and even mental changes could be starting to take place, signaling you to take in food. Your body can indicate low blood sugar/hunger in a variety of ways: dizziness, lightheadedness, a headache, general sluggishness, feeling "spacey," feeling unable to concentrate, irritability, nausea, and even cold sweats are common symptoms that people can experience). Snacks that are eaten between meals can help to prevent these symptoms.

You may hear that snacking is "bad for you," that it will cause weight gain, or lead to out-of-control eating. Rather than categorizing snacking in these ways, think about choosing between-meal foods and drinks by what they can do for you. Some snacks, like chips, sodas, cookies, and ice cream, don’t offer much in the way of vitamins and minerals. The American Dietetic Association provides some tips on choosing healthy snacks:

  • Plan ahead - Pack fruit, trail mix (seeds, dried fruits, nuts), yogurt, and other portable foods ahead of time in your backpack. Then you won't have to rely on vending machines and convenience stores.
  • Snack consciously - Mindless or emotional nibbling can lead to overeating. Try to eat a snack without doing anything else. Don't watch TV or study at the same time, especially if you are under stress.
  • Choose nutrient-rich foods. Examples would be whole grain muffins and crackers, baby carrots, popcorn, fresh fruit, yogurt, low-fat cheese, peanut butter, and nuts and seeds.
  • Pay attention to the difference between hunger and boredom or the need for a distraction. Have other non-food ways to manage stress and relax. Listen for fullness, too. Your body, when given 20 minutes at a meal or snack, knows when it has had enough.

Here are some ideas for healthy, quick-to-prepare snacks to have on hand in your room or backpack:

  • Instant or canned vegetable or bean soup
  • Pretzels (whole grain for extra fiber and staying power)
  • Snack-sized cereal boxes (same benefits if whole grain)
  • Dried fruits
  • Oatmeal packets (especially good with dried cranberries or raisins, and nuts)
  • Low-fat crackers with peanut butter, almond butter, or low-fat cheese
  • Low-fat yogurt with fruit pieces stirred in
  • Air-popped popcorn with topping ideas: cinnamon, chili powder, low-fat cheese sprinkles (add butter flavored spray to help these flavors stick to popcorn)
  • Low-fat frozen yogurt with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or ginger snaps
  • Baked tortilla chips with low-fat melted cheese and salsa
  • Raw fruits and vegetables, already cut up and in zip-loc bags ~ can be dipped in mixture of plain yogurt mixed with salsa or herbs
  • Fruit smoothies (frozen or chilled fruit pieces blended with fruit juice and nonfat fruit yogurt)
  • Remember that water is an essential nutrient. To quench your thirst, instead of soda, try juice spritzers (one part juice and one part sparkling water), vegetable juice, or flavored mineral waters

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Is it possible to find a healthy meal when I eat out?

Whether you are eating out on Thayer Street or on campus, you have a variety of choices. Just like when you cook your own meals, you want to buy meals that are approximately 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% proteins (e.g., meats, poultry, eggs, beans or tofu), and 25% grains.

Because portion sizes at restaurants are often large, if you find that you eat out frequently and you want to stay in-sync with your hunger and fullness, here are some strategies you can try:

  • Share an entrée with a friend
  • Order two appetizers for a meal, or soup and an appetizer
  • If you will be going home fairly soon, plan ahead to eat only ½ of your portion, and ask the server to wrap the rest for your next meal. Don't try to save a dish with meat, poultry, or fish for longer than an hour or two at room temperature, because of the danger of food poisoning
  • Head for restaurants where you know ahead of time that portion sizes are more moderate
  • Avoid "super-sizing" at fast food places, just to get a deal on pricing. You've also super-sized fat, calories, and sugar.

Remember that most restaurants are more than willing to listen to special requests. Don't be shy about asking for ways to help you get meals that are tasty, healthful, and that might even enable you to have something to contribute to your next meal. Many restaurant owners say that they make menu changes when customers ask for specific items (like low-fat milk).

Evelyn Tribole, in her book Eating on the Run (available for loan from Health Education) gives some tips for things you can easily ask for in all types of restaurants:

  • Low-fat milk instead of cream for coffee
  • Sauces and dressings on the side
  • Whole grain breads
  • An extra plate (to split an entrée or other dish)
  • To have the skin of poultry removed
  • To have meat or poultry prepared without extra fat or oil
  • Substitution of fresh fruit, salad, or baked potato instead of French fries
  • Vegetables or other foods prepared without added butter
  • Asking for food to be divided into leftover container before being brought to the table
  • Being able to return items to the kitchen if not prepared as requested or expected
  • The expectation of special service - every customer is important

Fast-food restaurants are more of a challenge when you are looking for healthier food choices, but it is possible to order healthier meals there than you might think. Here are a few suggestions from Eating on the Run:

  • Generally, you will be better off if you stick with the char-broiled or roasted sandwiches, especially when ordering chicken.
  • Check out the salads and salad bar. Just go easy on the full-fat dressings.
  • Try quenching your thirst with juice or low-fat milk, instead of regular sodas. Diet sodas, coffee, and tea are also sugar-free options, but contribute no nutrients. Water is always a good option.
  • If you want something sweet, take advantage of the frozen yogurt offered in many fast-food places.
  • Pizza can contribute a lot of good nutrients. Plain or veggie pizza is a healthier choice than extra cheese, pepperoni, or cheese-crust types.
  • For breakfast, pass on the fried-type French toast items, and select from pancakes, cold cereal, plain toast, or plain bagels. Spread with jam or a thin layer of butter or margarine.

Having said the above, it's important to remember that food is meant to be enjoyed. Balance and moderation are the best ways to approach healthy eating, rather than developing rigid habits about food. If you eat a generally healthy diet, then go ahead and savor a rich meal, some fast food or a scoop of gourmet ice cream.

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What are some basic foods and ingredients that I should have on hand?

Whether you are preparing a meal in a full apartment kitchen, or from a tiny dorm area with a microwave and a space cleared off your desk, it's helpful to know useful "starter foods" with which to create a meal.

Though you can expand this list for a larger kitchen, here are guides for foods to have on hand for the dorm kitchen, from Eating Well on Campus:

Refrigerator basics
Eggs
Tub margarine
Plain and flavored yogurt
Low fat milk
Flour or corn tortillas
Pre-shredded low-fat cheese
Bagged salad and baby carrots
Low-fat cottage cheese
Pre-grated Parmesan cheese
Fruit, as space permits

Bottled or jarred food
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Soy sauce
Mustard
Salsa
Balsamic or red wine vinegar
Spaghetti sauce
Low-fat mayonnaise
Barbeque sauce
Honey
Peanut butter

Freezer staples
Frozen vegetables
Frozen fruit
Bread, bagels
Frozen dinners: Amy’s Organic, or Kashi, for example
Desserts: Sorbet, frozen yogurt, frozen-fruit bars
Coffee

Grains
Boxed pasta
Brown or white rice
Dry cereal (esp. higher fiber bran types
Instant cooked cereal packets
Bagel, bread, English muffins
 

Canned and Packaged Foods
Chicken and vegetable broth
Vegetarian refried beans
Water-packed tuna fish
Dehydrated lower-fat soups
Canned soup: Minestrone, lentil, vegetable
Applesauce
Plain microwave popcorn

Spices and Seasonings
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder, onion salt, celery salt
Other favorite seasonings
Sugar

As your space and budget allow, there are more and more pre-prepared foods available in supermarkets. You can find a wide variety of ready-to-eat gourmet meals and these can be purchased either in separate courses, or as entire meals.

What kinds of utensils do I need to cook with?          

It is easy to spend a small fortune to equip your dorm kitchen, but it isn't necessary. Ask your relatives for their cast-offs, check out local garage sales before you come to school, or head down to the Salvation Army Store on Pitman Street for some great bargains. Quality is most important when it comes to knives and good grades of pots and pans, which spread heat more evenly and will therefore cook foods more dependably.

Basic Cooking Utensils for the Dorm Kitchen:

  • 2 microwave-safe mixing bowls, 1 large and 1 small
  • 9" x 9 " baking dish
  • 2 sharp knives, 1 paring knife, and 1 larger knife for chopping, dicing, etc.
  • Liquid and dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small cutting boards (2)
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 rubber spatula
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Small hand grater or electric chopper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap, graded for microwave use
  • Ziplock bags
  • Sponge
  • Colander
  • Paper towels, Plastic plates, Napkins, Eating utensils, Glasses, Cups
  • Potholder
  • Dishtowel

Depending on your budget, you might want to invest in a small refrigerator (which can also be rented from Brown Student Agencies, Lower Level Faunce House, (401.863-2226), a microwave, a steamer-cooker, and a blender.

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How do I navigate a grocery store to get what I need?

Shopping for your food can be somewhat overwhelming if you haven't had a lot of experience dealing with the thousands of choices offered to the consumer in an average supermarket. Layout of aisles is designed to increase the purchase of higher-priced items. Staples are usually placed in the far sides and in the rear of stores. Newer, heavily-advertised, and often less nutritious items are often placed at eye level. End-of-aisle displays are not necessarily selling items on sale.

The best beginning when you are heading to the store is to start with a shopping list. Having a list gives you a plan, and makes you less susceptible to impulse shopping. Think about your meals for the week to avoid forgetting things. Many shoppers find that taking the time to map out a store's aisle layout, and then creating a master list (e.g., on your computer) is an enormous time saver. You can print out copies that you can then post on a weekly basis, and just check off or circle items as you need them.

Another tried and true recommendation is to shop when you are not hungry. Studies of consumer behavior have found that people will purchase more foods high in fats and sugar, as well as higher-priced snack foods, when they are moderately to very hungry. Grab some yogurt or fruit before you grab the shopping cart!

For the most part, you will save money by shopping at larger supermarkets instead of small convenience stores. Specialty gourmet markets are usually more expensive as well. Some grocery stores, such as Eastside Marketplace and Super Stop and Shop, will deliver orders for an additional small fee. For more information on these delivery services, see the resource list below. Students can join together to give a group order, saving money on a delivery for a single fee. EastSide Marketplace also offers the services of a staff nutritionist, who can answer questions about foods and nutrition, assist you in making nutritious choices, and can meet individually with customers who have further needs.

When you are checking out the cost of foods, look at the price label on the store shelf under food items. The best way to compare the cost of two items is to look at the "unit" price (e.g., cents per ounce for brands of tomato sauce). Although one can may cost more, the unit price will tell you if it is the better buy.

As a rule, when buying fresh produce (fruits and vegetables), you will be better off buying items that are in season. It is possible to buy fresh watermelon in January, and grapefruits in the middle of summer, but these items are either being imported from another hemisphere, or have been grown artificially out of season. The taste and price will reflect this. In-season produce will have the highest level of nutrients, cost the least, and score the highest in the flavor category. Also, some other countries use pesticides and herbicides banned in the United States.

Frozen produce will retain almost as many nutrients, and sometimes more, as fresh equivalents. This is because most modern packagers "flash freeze" foods in plants located near fields and orchards. Fresh produce has sometimes been kept in warm railroad cars or in back storerooms for long periods of time, with a subsequent loss of some susceptible nutrients.

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Can I trust what's on a food label? What does it mean?

In 1990 the federal government laws began requiring that food labels must contain the following information, including:

  • Ingredient List (ingredients in descending order of predominance and weight)
  • Serving Sizes - each package must identify the size of a serving (frequently not in agreement with standard portion sizes from the Food Pyramid); the nutrition information given on the label is based on one serving of the food
  • How many servings (based on that package's definition of a serving size) are contained in the package
  • Nutrition Facts - Each package must identify the quantities of specified nutrients and food constituents for one serving

You will be able to see, per serving, the number of calories, the amount of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, plus fiber, and sugar (both listed under carbohydrate), as well as several other nutrients. You will also note totals given for percentages of Daily Value of various nutrients. Percent Daily Values means an average adult's needs, as based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your own Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie (energy) needs.

If a product is making nutrition claims, the government defines the following key words and health claims that appear on labels as follows:

  • Low fat: 3 gm of fat or less per serving
  • Less fat: 25% or less fat than the comparison food
  • Fat-free: less than 0.5 gm of fat per serving, with no added fat or oil
  • Lean: less than 10 gm of fat and less than 4 gm saturated fat and 95 mg of cholesterol per serving
  • Low Calorie: 40 calories or less per serving
  • Reduced Calorie: At least 25% fewer calories per serving than the comparison food
  • Extra Lean: Less than 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 95 mg of cholesterol per (100 gm) serving of meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Lite or light in fat: 50% or less of the fat than in the comparison food
  • Lite or light in calories: 1/3 fewer calories than in the comparison food
  • High fiber: 5 grams or more fiber per serving
  • Healthy: A food low in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and contains at least 10% of the Daily Value for a given nutrient per serving
  • "High," "Rich in," or "Excellent Source": 20% or more of the Daily Value for a given nutrient per serving

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Should I throw out that turkey with the green stuff on it? (food safety tips)

Proper storage is a key factor in reducing the chance of foodborne illness. Bacteria thrive at room temperature. Store food in the right container, in the right place, at the right temperature, and you can stop bacterial growth before it has a chance to start.

Cleaning out the refrigerator and getting all the way to the back of your food storage shelves on occasion may not rank above studying for an exam or going out with your friends. You probably don't want to waste any foods that you've spent good money on, either. One basic principle that is good to follow is: "when in doubt, throw it out." Becoming sick from food poisoning after eating something that has spoiled is a hard way to learn about the importance of prevention of foodborne illness.

The American Dietetic Association's has developed some food safety guidelines that can help you keep your food storage areas safer from contamination. One of the most important things to keep in mind is temperature of foods that normally need to be refrigerated. The "temperature danger zone" --40 degrees F to 140 degrees F-- is where bacteria multiply best. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold when outside the refrigerator. Purchase inexpensive refrigerator thermometers for your refrigerator and freezer compartments and check them occasionally. Refrigerators should be kept between 34 degrees F and 40 degrees F, and the freezer at 0 degree F or lower. Wrap foods tightly or cover for storage in the refrigerator or freezer, and move older foods to the front, to be used next.

Guidelines for lengths of time some common foods can be kept safely in the refrigerator and freezer are:

Food

Refrigerator

Freezer

Chicken

1 to 2 days

12 months

Ground meat

1 to 2 days

3 to 4 months

Lunch meats

3 to 4 days (after seal is broken. 2 weeks if sealed in original packaging.

1 to 2 months

Fresh beef

3 to 5 days

6 to 12 months

Fresh chicken/turkey

1 to 2 days

12 months

Meats, cooked

3 to 4 days

2 to 6 months

Poultry, cooked

3 to 4 days

2 to 6 months

Butter, margarine

1 to 2 weeks

6 to 9 months

Eggs, fresh

3 to 5 weeks

 

Eggs, hardcooked

1 week

 

Frozen dinners

 

3 to 4 months

 

Do canned foods keep forever?

Canned foods that you've put on shelves in your room or closet should be kept as cool as possible (ideally between 50 degrees F and 70 degrees F, not always possible for overheated dorm rooms). Generally, these foods keep for at least a year. If canned foods stay in temperatures over 100 degrees F, conditions are not safe. Never eat foods from cans that are cracked, bulging, or leaking, or that spurt liquid when opened. Don't taste! These spoilage signs may mean the deadly botulism organism may be present. Discard these cans immediately. It is safe to store foods in cans after opening, if they are covered and refrigerated.

Can partially thawed food be refrozen? What about freezer burn?

You can do this with caution and only if the food still has ice crystals and has been held in the refrigerator for one day or less. However, quality may be lost with refreezing. Consider cooking the food and then refreezing it.

Freezer burn-the white, dried-out patches found on improperly wrapped food-won't make you sick, but it will make food tough and tasteless. Wrapping food correctly in materials meant for freezing (aluminum foil, heavy duty zip-loc bags or thick freezer paper) and pushing out excess air will prevent freezer burn.

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How do I know if I have food poisoning?

Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between food poisoning and the flu. You may have diarrhea, feel fatigued, and have a stomach ache, headache, or fever. These symptoms can hit you anytime from 30 minutes to 2 weeks after eating spoiled food. Most symptoms pass within 24 to 48 hours. Brown students should check with Health Services at 401.863-3953 if:

  • You have bloody diarrhea,
  • You are vomiting or have very bad diarrhea, which could lead to dehydration if not treated,
  • You have a stiff neck, fever, and headache,
    and/or
  • The symptoms last longer than 3 days.

What can I do to be safe when I'm preparing food?

A few important things to keep in mind when you're preparing and cooking your foods are:

  • Wash your hands in warm, soapy water before and after every step in the food preparation process.
  • Clean food preparation surfaces often, and remove food particles. Sanitize cutting boards after each use with hot, soapy water, and let them air-dry.
  • Beware of cross-contamination of utensils (e.g., don't put cooked meat in the same dish used for raw meat).
  • Marinades can only be used if they have been thoroughly cooked.
  • Change dish cloths often, as they are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Throw out dirty sponges.
  • Thaw frozen meats for cooking in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. If you defrost foods in the refrigerator and not in the microwave, it's safe to refreeze them.
  • Don't use a cracked egg you find in the carton; these can harbor disease-carrying organisms.

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Cookbooks & Other Resources Available from the Health Education Library

Free pamphlets are available on a variety of topics such as healthy eating out, planning meals, grocery shopping and preparing meals.

Epstein S: The Brown Bag Lunch. New York, MacMillan Press, 1996.

Harrington G: The College Cookbook: An Alternative to the Meal Plan. Pownal, VT, Storey Publishing, 1988.

Hess MA for The American Dietetic Association: The Supermarket Guide. Minneapolis, Chronimed Publishing, 1997.

Jacobson MF and LY Lefferts for Center for Science in the Public Interest: Safe Food: Eating Wisely in a Risky World. Los Angeles, Living Planet Press, 1991.

Litt AS: The College Student's Guide to Eating Well on Campus. Bethesda, MD, Tulip Hill Press, 2000.

Miller JL and E Schafer: Brown Bagging It: Lunches to Go! Carbondale, IL, Pearl Publications, 1991.

Tribole E: Eating on the Run. Champaign, IL, Leisure Press, 1992.

Wasserman, D: Conveniently Vegan. Baltimore, 1997.

Wasserman D and C Stahler: Meatless Meals for Working People: Quick and Easy Vegetarian Recipes. Vegetarian Resource Group, 1991.

Wasserman D and R Mangels: Simply Vegan: Quick Vegetarian Meals. Baltimore, Vegetarian Resource Group, 1997.

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Links You Can Use

Allrecipes.com
This web site is a great assistance for the new or inexperienced cook. Offers a search and find for recipes that contain any ingredient you may want to use (or use up!), along with ratings, user reviews, and helpful suggestions. You can get meal ideas and cooking advice, and for a fee, subscribe to Nutri-Planner, receiving custom-made menus adapted to your profile, food preferences, and dietary goals.

Consumer Corner
This site is the Food, Nutrition, and Information Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Extremely informative web site, offering much practical information for the beginning cook. Also includes many useful web links for recipes, advice for new cooks, ingredient substitutions, shopping and meal planning tips, "how food works" (the science of cooking), food history, and the USDA nutrient database, allowing you to look up the nutritional composition of thousands of foods.

Eastside Marketplace
Information on this local grocery store's web site tells how to use their delivery service, get menu planning tips, nutrition information, and access the services of their in-store nutritionist.

Farmers' Markets
From June to October, Lippitt Park (corner of Hope Street and Blackstone Boulevard) hosts a farmers’ market every Saturday from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. Starting in September, the Community Dining Program through Brown Dining Services also offers a Fall Farmers' Market on Wednesdays from 11:00am - 2:00pm in front of the Ratty. When you're not in Providence, you can use this link to click on any state in the U.S. and get a list of state-wide farmers markets. A great way to find fresh and tasty produce, get excellent nutrition, and support local farmers in the process.

Federal Food Safety Web Site
This is a gateway web site that provides links to selected government food safety-related information. This web site is part of the National Food Safety Information Network and is maintained by FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Home Food Safety
Web site co-sponsored by the American Dietetic Association and Con-Agra Foods. Offers many food safety tips, an online newsletter, interactive kitchen, food safety video with Graham Kerr, Frequently Asked Questions section, and definitions of common terms. Also gives several other government and private food safety related web links.

Super Stop and Shop Supermarket
This web site has ideas for meal planning and recipes. Click on the "Peapod Home Delivery" link to get information on how you can have groceries and other store items delivered to you on campus.

University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension
This excellent web site offers a very wide variety of in depth, consumer-friendly information on nutrition, food safety, recipes, menus, and shopping. You can sign up for an online newsletter.

Whole Foods Market
Another local grocery store, catering more to those who prefer organically-grown foods. Their web site offers recipes, information on herbs, and "natural" therapies, They do offer health-related information, but you should note the health disclaimer given on their web site.

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