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Eat Right with Healthy Bites

Today more faculty and staff are requesting healthy foods provided in the workplace or sold at work. In order to support faculty and staff in taking up or maintaining healthy food choices Vanderbilt has a special initiative – Healthy Bites.

In order to support having healthy food options, the Vanderbilt Food Advisory Committee has focused on three primary areas: Healthy Eating, Healthy Catering, and Healthy Vending Options.

Health Plus has created this resource page to support you and your department in making healthy food choices for yourself or for your co-workers.

Healthy Eating

Components of a Healthy Meal:

  • Build a healthy breakfast – Whole grain + Lean meat/protein + Whole or cut fruit + Low-fat dairy
  • Build a healthy lunch or dinner – Whole grain starch + Lean protein entrée or Vegetarian entrée + Salad
    Grilled/roasted/raw vegetables + Whole or cut fruit + Low-calorie beverage

Choose appropriate portions by following the MyPlate guidelines:

  • Make one-half of your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Make one-fourth of your plate grain
  • Make one-fourth of your plate lean meat or other protein
  • Include low-fat dairy such as milk, cheese or yogurt
  • Offer foods that are lower in fat and salt such as baked chips, unsalted popcorn, grilled or roasted entrées, or dishes seasoned with herbs and spices instead of added salt.

For Breakfast:

Choose This: Instead of:
Bottled water, 100% juice, Skim or 1% milk, tea, coffee Soda, fruit-flavored drinks, whole milk, gourmet coffee drinks
Low-fat yogurt Full-fat yogurt
Small bagels (3 ½ inches or smaller), small muffins (2 ½ inches or smaller) Large bagels, regular or large muffins, doughnuts, pastries
Unsweetened cereal (ex: Cheerios) Sweetened cereal (ex: Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops)
Whole grain waffles or French toast Waffles or French toast made from white bread
Canadian bacon, lean ham, turkey sausage Bacon, pork sausage

For Lunch and Dinner:

Choose This: Instead of:
Diet sodas, unsweetened tea, water, 100% juice Regular soda, fruit-flavored juice drinks, sweet tea
Salads with dressing on the side Salads with added dressing
Vinaigrette dressings Creamy salad dressings (ex: Caesar, ranch)
Soups made with vegetable puree or skim milk Creamy soups made from whole milk or half and half
Pasta salads with low-fat and/or vinaigrette dressings Pasta salads with mayonnaise or cream-based dressings
Sandwiches on whole wheat bread Sandwiches on white bread or croissants
Lean lunch meats, poultry, fish Fried meats, bacon, full-fat cold cuts
Grilled meats Fried meats
Dips made from salsa, low-fat cottage cheese, hummus or low-fat salad dressing Dips made from mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, or cheese sauce
Baked chips, pretzels Regular chips
Vegetable spring rolls (not fried) Fried egg rolls

Healthy Catering

A workplace nutrition program encourages healthy eating for all by emphasizing and offering:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Low fat dairy
  • Lean meats, poultry, fish and legumes
  • Low amounts of salt, sugar and saturated fat

Below are some resources to help choose healthier selections on the Vanderbilt campus and nearby:

Healthy Vending

  • When you need to refuel – small bag of pretzels, peanuts, almonds or trail mix betwen meals and a vending machine is your only option, look for these items:
    • Fat-free or reduced fat popcorn
    • Whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter or cheese
    • Whole-grain granola or cereal bars
    • Graham or animal crackers
    • 100% fruit or vegetable juice
    • Fresh fruit
    • Dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries or apricots -Microwavable soup or oatmealSource:
  • Read Initiative Aims to Boost Healthy Vending Options in The Vanderbilt Reporter

Additional Resources:

Courtyard Cafe – Learn more about available healthy food options and nutrition information

Vanderbilt Dining – Learn more about available healthy food options and nutrition information

Nutrition Clinic – Learn more about the comprehensive nutrition counseling center staffed by registered dietitians

Listen to the Healthy Bites on the Vanderbilt Campus Wellcast

Listen to the Heart Smart Fast Food Choices Wellcast

Read the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans for key healthy eating recommendations​

Sources: Nashvitality: A Toolkit for Creating a Healthier Workplace

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Choosing Foods and Beverages for Healthy Meetings, Conferences and Events.

University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Guidelines for Offering Healthy Foods at Meetings, Seminars and Events.

United States Department of Agriculture. Choose MyPlate.

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 in Health Plus, Living Healthy, Feeling Good, Resource Articles and tagged


One Comment on “Eat Right with Healthy Bites”

Healthy Bites for Healthy Lives the way to go

Manik Paul on July 17th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

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