Healthy Eating and Nutrition

Students not only have to deal with adjusting to high-level coursework, social changes, and living away from home, but also health-inhibiting factors like tight budgets, busy schedules, and figuring out how to eat well without parental guidance. 

The stress response is your body’s signal to adapt to changes in the environment. Everyone reacts differently to stress, but many people find comfort in food, which may lead to overeating or choosing less nutritious foods. What you eat can affect your mood and how you perform academically and nutrition can play a powerful role in your physical and mental health.

Canada's Food Guide

Make water your drink of choice, eat protein, limit highly processed foods, choose whole grains, eat veggies

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In 2019, Health Canada released a brand new food guide. There's no longer an emphasis on food groups and recommended servings. Instead, the new recommendations include eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods and protein foods, and choosing protein foods that come from plants more often. The guide was prepared using high-quality scientific reports on food and health, excluding industry-commissioned reports given the potential for conflicts of interest.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is an experience that engages all parts of us, body, heart and mind, in choosing, preparing and eating food. It involves all the senses. It replaces self-criticism with self-nurturing. It replaces shame with respect for your own inner wisdom. -Jan Cozen Bays, MD


  • Mindful eating can help you develop a new, more balanced relationship with food.
  • It can teach us how to listen to our bodies to help determine when and what and how much to eat.
  • It can help us learn how to enjoy our food even more.
  • It can help us appreciate where our food comes from and therefore create a more balanced relationship with our environment.

Helpful Tips

  • Remember the “½ plate rule” – fill half of your plate with vegetables! Keep meat and starch portions smaller and relegate them to the other side of the plate. They hold most of the fat and calories!
  • Want to eat chips or other similar snacks? Don’t sit down with a huge bag. Fill a small bowl and enjoy. Even if you refill the bowl once or even twice, you will probably still eat less!
  • Buy the smaller bag of popcorn at the movies. Research shows on average you will eat an average of 173 calories more of popcorn just because you eat from a bigger bag!
  • Place treats out of sight or even just out of reach. That extra effort to go get the treat is often all the time we need to either talk ourselves out of it, or at least eat a lot less than if it was right there, easily accessible. 
  • When serving yourself a plate of food, try serving up 20% less than you usually do. Most of us won’t notice the difference in our hunger and we won’t feel deprived. When eating vegetables, go for 20 % more!
  • Slow down your eating. It takes a full 20 minutes from the time you put food in your mouth before your stomach knows it has arrived there and can tell you that you are getting full. The average North American finishes a meal in 11-18 minutes. That’s lots of time to overeat before we ever know we should stop!
  • Can’t slow down the pace of your eating, try using a smaller utensil or chopsticks. The more we have to work for our meal, the faster most of us give up!
  • Serve your meals on smaller plates or bowls. If the plate/bowl looks full, it can often make us believe that we are full.

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Healthy Eating on A Budget

It IS possible to eat healthily without emptying your bank account. Try some of these tips on your next grocery shop.

Healthy eating on a budget 101: stick to your list, shop for sales, compare prices, stock up, consider the season, set a budget

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Food Insecurity

In a recent survey of Canadian post-secondary students, two in five students surveyed experienced some level of food insecurity.

There are supports on and off-campus that students can utilize to access food at no or little cost. 

Thunder Bay

LUSU Food Resource Centre

Lakehead University Food for Thought (Formerly LUMXC)

Dew Drop Inn

Shelter House

Grace Place


LUSU Food Pantry

The Sharing Place: Home

St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank

The Salvation Army, Community and Family Services, Food Bank

Grocery Stores

 Thunder Bay



Student Health and Wellness Cookbook

Unlock Your Food

Foodland Ontario

Nutrition Month 2020 Cookbook

Nutrition Month 2021 Cookbook


Epicurious – Recipes, Menu Ideas, Videos & Cooking Tips


Dieticians of Canada

Canada’s Food Guide

The Student’s Guide to Nutrition

LUSU Foodbank

Nutrition Trackers