Having a meal plan gives you an overwhelming amount of options for food. Grand Valley has places to eat in virtually every building on campus. As college students, we don’t always have time to go to the gym every day. With all of the different options and the thought of the “Freshman 15” in the back of your head, deciding where to eat can be stressful. Believe it or not, there are healthy food options among the pizza and french fries.

1. Freshens

This place is a great go-to for healthy options, especially if you aren’t a salad person. Freshens features a variety of crepes and rice bowls filled with goodness. There is even the option to create your own rice bowl with either chicken or turkey breast, dressing on top, and a variety of mix-ins, such as spinach, cheeses, beans, and lots of other veggies. Although some of these options are a Meal +1, they are still meal plan friendly and much healthier than other options. Freshens also has a variety of healthy smoothies and even an acai bowl, although these can not be bought using meals. 


2. Croutons

If you love to enjoy a good salad, you will LOVE Croutons. With various salad and grain bowls on the menu, as well as the option to create your own bowl, Croutons is a great healthy meal plan option. With options like avocado, chicken, edamame, quinoa, shaved almonds, and egg, building your own bowl is an easy and tasty way to get your protein fill.


3. Montague’s Deli

This build your own sandwich, wrap, or flatbread bar includes many healthy options and swaps. Instead of white or cheese bread, you can opt for whole wheat bread. If you would rather have a wrap, there are spinach and honey wheat tortilla options. When building your sandwich or wrap, you can put ingredients such as hummus, turkey, chicken salad, and a variety of veggies on it. Along with your meal, you get a side of either chips or fruit, allowing you to make more healthy swaps.



4. Bleecker Street

Another one of my favorite meal plan friendly options is this soup, sandwich, and salad place. There are many hot and cold sandwiches, as well as a daily soup of the day. With many healthier option swaps, Bleeker Street offers chips, carrots, or an apple as a side. They also have a bakery for your cheat days.


5. Zoca

Zoca is a Mexican food place featuring tacos, burritos, nachos, and quesadillas.  They have many choices of proteins for fillings, including chicken, ground beef, beef brisket, and beans. There are also many veggie options for extra fillings. Vegetarian sides include beans, rice, and guacamole. Zoca is meal plan friendly, with lots of different options to choose from.



If you want to attempt to eat healthy on a meal plan, these places are perfect for you. Having a meal plan doesn’t just restrict you to greasy and fried foods, there are tasty, yet healthier options if you choose to pick them. Eating well not only keeps you physically healthy, but mentally as well, which is so important as a freshman (or any year!) in college as classes require you to be mentally focused.


Gabby Driessnack

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