Nutrition 101: What’s on the Buffet?

Posted on: October 24th, 2011 by paul

Vacations do not only mean a break from the pressures of work, but also a break from the tiresome task of cooking your own meals. We’re constantly trying to put what’s best on the table for breakfast, dinner and in the brown bag for lunch. Alas, your vacation is here and so is the never ending buffet table. Finally, we don’t have to plan out meals, work around everyone’s preferences, and endure the most daunting task of all, dish duty.

Although the buffet table seems like a godsend, there is one thing that we forget to consider. What is the nutritional content of the items that we’re allowing ourselves and our kids to indulge in for seven straight days? And moreover, how can you be sure that the items you’re choosing to consume are in fact a healthy choice? After all, since we’re not cooking the food we’re eating, can we really be sure of what is in our food?


Here are some common buffet items to stay away from, and items to try instead.



Try This:

  • Yogurt, Fruit Salad, and granola
    • Calories: 420
    • Fat: 3 grams

Not This:

  • Belgian Waffles with Maple Syrup and 2 Breakfast Sausages
    • Calories: 1,000
    • Fat: 42 grams


Try This:

  • Chicken (deli meat) sandwich on whole wheat bread (with lettuce, tomato, mustard and swiss cheese )


  • Garden Side Salad with balsamic vinaigrette


  • Calories: 450
  • Fat: 14 grams


Not This:

  • Burger (with condiments) and onion rings on the side


  • Calories: 600
  • Fat: 25 grams


Try This:

  • Roasted chicken, baked potato, and vegetables


  • Angel food cake with Cool Whip and strawberries


  • Calories: 597
  • Fat: 13 grams

Not This:

  • Fettuccini alfredo and ceasar salad


  • Fried calamari


  • Chocolate sundae


  • Calories: 1,620
  • Fat: 65 grams


The buffet table provides something for everyone’s taste buds, and eliminates the time and effort we put into every meal. Try making these healthy meal choices to keep you from over indulging while on vacation.


Gillian Johnson, BA CSCS


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