If when you’re looking for a healthy snack your first instinct is to check the calories, you are not alone. But proper nutrition is about much more than just calories. It is far more important to eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients than one that is merely low in calories. In fact, many higher calorie options may be healthier for you than their lower calorie alternatives. Whole wheat or whole grain breads, for example, generally contain more calories, but contain fiber and other vitamins absent in white bread.

So what a “balanced” meal?
Balanced meals should contain the three major food groups: fruits/veggies, lean protein, and carbohydrates. As a general rule, try to divide your plate into fourths: ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates, and ½ fruits or veggies.

The next time you are at the dining hall on campus, look out for balanced meal ideas, shown with Chartwells’ “Balance” icon.