Being a healthy osprey with UNF dietians

Teeryana Bryant

It’s hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle in college. Classes, jobs and dorm life often get in the way of a balanced diet and exercise schedule, which is why initiatives toward an easily accessible healthy lifestyle on campus are important.

Senior Director of Recreation and Wellness Ashley Ballard has been working for UNF for 14 years and has dedicated her time to creating a healthy campus. In 2015, UNF signed a partnership with A Partnership for a Healthier America, an organization that promotes nationwide health. The organization started an initiative for more healthy college campuses, and UNF joined.

“It was a great way to partner with other universities to make sure that we are the right path and following the right trends,” Ballard said.

One of the biggest areas that Healthy America focuses on is food and nutrition. RDN Campus Dietitian Yemila Lowry mentioned some of the changes the dining services has made so far.

“This past year we had to create a wellness meal for breakfast lunch and dinner at the cafe,” Lowry said.

If you go onto the campus website, under “dining,” you will see the wellness meals that the dietitians have provided for the day or week. They have a healthy icon which is placed around other food establishments around campus. The icon is an apple and the slogan is “The healthy choice is the easy choice.” Dining Services has also emphasized PIDs, which are labels in the cafeteria that are placed on certain healthy food options. These PIDs label the healthy foods with the same apple icon that can be found on the website.

Another feature that has been added this year is a healthy osprey rewards card, which mimics a rewards card. With the card, if a student purchases five healthy items, they can receive five dollars back.

“Eating healthy does pay off,” Lowry said.

Because of students speaking out about wanting to have more healthy options, they have been able make some changes around campus – like having a new vegan burger at the Boathouse.

They plan on making more healthy changes and options on campus for students to add more variety to a healthy lifestyle.


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