What is nutrition? Why is it important?

image of a variety of fresh fruit

Nutrition is the process of obtaining the food needed for health and growth. There are a lot of elements that go into nutrition such as carbohydrates, protein, and fats as well as vitamins and minerals. The most important part is that you get a wide variety of foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Balanced nutrition helps your brain and your body function at its best to support everything you do.

Ask the Dietitian


Have a question? Ask the Laker Food Co. Dietitian, any general nutrition questions you may have using this form here. Or you can schedule an individual consultation for FREE

Nutrition and Food Access for Students

  • The GVSU Farmer's Market is not operating in physical form anymore, but the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) still brings fresh food and other goods to the GVSU community through their new farm shares program.
  • With the help of partnerships with local West Michigan businesses and Laker Food Co., they will be setting up their routine farm stand at the Cook Carillon Tower, but with even more than in the past. Keep an eye out for it on Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm starting August 30!

FREE for GVSU students

  • Free nutrition counseling with GVSU Clinical Dietetics graduate students under the direct supervision of a Registered Dietitian.
  • No requirement to be a previously established patient.
  • Variety of services offered, including dietary modifications for chronic disease management, food insecurity, eating disorders, weight management, diabetes, heart health, allergies, prenatal, renal, and healthy eating to foster general wellness.
  • Services provided as needed with no limitations on the number of times a student can utilize.
  • Open Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Schedule an appointment.
  • A food resource for students who face financial obligations/struggles that compromise their food access.
  • Provides food and personal care items to meet the short-term challenges that students may face when unable to purchase such items. 
  • Two locations in Allendale (Kirkhof Center 073, (616) 331-7687) and Downtown Grand Rapids (CHS 353, (616) 331-3461).
  • A resource that helps you locate food when you need it based on your zip code
  • Interactive map with food pantry partner locations and mobile food pantry locations
  • Provides a mobile food pantry schedule, food assistance programs, and referral services
  • The Wellness Information Team (WIT) is made up of student peer educators who are passionate about wellness.
  • The WIT Team is available to give presentations on wellness topics such as nutrition, setting boundaries, LGBTQ+ sex education, and more! Request a presentation here.
  • WIT educators are also available for wellness questions. Ask a question online or at the WIT cart on campus. The WIT cart is staffed by peer educators at rotating locations on campus.
  • The Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) is a collaboration between students, staff, and faculty focused on growing food sustainably.
  • The SAP has two hoop houses for growing produce as well as beekeepers.
  • SAP volunteers host a seasonal farm stand in the summer and fall with fresh produce for sale as well as an online farm stand.

Nutrition Blog Posts

Check out these blog posts written by the WIT Peer Educators on all things food and nutrition.

Mind-Gut Connection

Did you know our mental health and our diet are connected? Claire's blog post covers the link between what we eat and how we feel.

Click the picture for the full blog post!

Eating Healthy and Sustainable for One

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can be hard as a college student, especially when you’re only grocery shopping for yourself. In this blog, Sofia explores a few ways you can eat healthily and sustainably!

Click the picture for the full blog post!

How to "Beet" the Winter Blues

Josie shares how your food impacts your mood and what foods can help lift your spirits even in the darkest of months in this blog post.

Click the picture for the full blog post!

What is Diet Culture? 

With lots of information on nutrition and health, it can be hard to tell what is good advice and sound science and what is diet culture. In this blog, Eva discusses diet culture and fad diets and the effect they have on our health and wellbeing.

Click the picture for the full blog post!

On the Fence About Supplements?

To take a supplement or to not take a supplement, that is the question. Supplements can be confusing so here is Eva’s guide to common supplements and food alternatives!

Click the picture for the full blog post!

The Freshman 15: The Who, What, and How it Harms Us

The idea of the "Freshman 15" is a common phrase mentioned often in school settings. In her blog post, Eva gives an explanation on why this is harmful to many, giving a summary of her podcast that goes more in depth on the topic.

Nutrition Inspiration

Here's some of the WIT Peer Educators' favorite people who promote healthy relationships with food and provide nutrition education.

Our Favorite Instagram Accounts

Shana Minei Spencer


Shana is actively anti‑diet culture and a promoter of healthy relationships with food.



Focused on Latinas, Dalina promotes eating without guilt, body positivity, and ending chronic dieting.

Melissa Rifkin


Melissa is a dietician who posts recipes and information explaining why society’s idea of healthy eating is harmful.

Shikha Advani


Shikha is a promoter of food freedom and body acceptance through anti‑diet information.

Tracey F.


A Black dietician who focuses on cultural foods and information about health.

Tabitha Brown


Tabitha Brown is a Black vegan who posts vegan cooking and motivation.

Our Favorite YouTube Channels

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY 101 | A beginners guide to intuitive eating, no food rules, & ditch dieting

Colleen Christensen

"Showing you how to eat the foods that you want, when you want, without guilt stress of anxiety. Feel amazing about your food choices mentally and physically, cupcakes and cookies alike!"

5 Steps to Begin Creating a Healthier Relationship with Food

Nutrition Stripped

"It’s full of nutrition science, health expertise, and real-life tools and ideas you can use ideas to help you feel empowered to take care of your unique health, body, and lifestyle."

Binging with Babish: Ratatouille (Confit Byaldi) from Ratatouille

Babish Culinary Universe

"Join us each week as we recreate the foods you've always wanted to try in movies and television - and if you're not careful, you just might learn a thing or two."

Meal prep on a budget » under €2 / $2 meals

Pick Up Limes

"Our mission is to make a nourishing plant-based lifestyle accessible to everyone. Get inspired or find a calm and relaxing space with the collection of videos that help to nourish the cells and the soul."

5 Easy Breakfasts - You Suck at Cooking (episode 64)

You Suck at Cooking

"Just cooking."

Ultra Easy Healthy Meals | But Cheaper

Joshua Weissman

"Entertaining, exciting, and inspirational videos about food and cooking. All I want is to entertain and excite YOU about food, and maybe inspire you to go cook something yourself."

Food on the Bus Line

Looking for places to eat but don't have a car? We've got a map for you! Our Nutrition Bus Line map has some of our favorite restaurants stop-by-stop for the Laker Line, 48 and 37! Bringing your own food downtown? We've also included microwave locations to heat up your food on campus.

Page last modified May 16, 2024