Ramapo promotes healthy eating with dietician

Photo by Erica Meline

Life as a college student can sometimes feel incompatible with healthy eating. There is the need to be social, get good grades, work and participate in extracurricular activities, all while staying relatively sane.

Thus, students may feel the need to sacrifice nutrition and just reach for that greasy, week old pizza in the fridge when they’re up writing an essay at two in the morning.

To combat this temptation, Ramapo Dining Services employs a registered dietician to ensure that healthy living is attainable, even for the busiest of students. Clinical Nutrition Manager and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Puneet Sethi payed a visit to Birch Tree Inn this past Tuesday during lunch to educate students on healthy eating while also providing a yummy treat to snack on.

“Once a month I come and visit the campus and I bring some sort of nutrition education,” said Sethi. “Students are able to approach me with any questions they may have and give me any feedback in regards to their dining experience.”

When Sethi comes to Birch, she never comes empty handed: each month, she is accompanied by a delicious and nutritious dish for sampling.

“We’re encouraging everybody to spice it up this September, try things different ways with different herbs and spices, especially when it comes to produce.” said Sethi.

“Sometimes we get bored with our regular routines and it might be hard to fit those fruits and vegetables in there, so we’re just exposing different ways to put fruits and vegetables in your diet.”

September’s dish was chaat, a traditional Indian dish. This savory hors d'oeuvre contained an assortment of nutrient-packed ingredients, such as potatoes, cucumbers, grapes, apples and of course, lots of spices, which was the perfect comfort food for the rainy, cold fall day.

“It has an interesting concoction of flavors, different seasonings and spices,” said junior Matthew Bladel of the chaat. “The flavorings come together quite well.”

Part of Sethi’s role as Ramapo’s dietician is ensuring that students have healthy choices in the dining hall. Students looking to make healthy choices can always rely on the fresh fruit as well as the salad bar. Another way for students to scope out healthier options is by looking for “Mindful” dishes.

Mindful dishes are meals that must abide by certain parameters in regards to their nutrient content, such as caloric and fat levels. These types of dishes are readily available throughout the day, and students can find them by looking for a yellow apple icon.

“It’s basically a no brainer way to look for healthy choices,” said Sethi.

Students also have the opportunity to set up individual consultations with Sethi to get a better idea of how to eat healthily according to their body types and medical needs.

Marketing Specialist for Ramapo Dining LisaMarie Bailey said, “[Sethi’s] here as a resource all the time, not just when she’s on campus. I think meeting her now helps the students connect with her.”

Students can reach out to Sethi for consultations by emailing her at puneet.sethi@sodexo.com.