The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Healthy Food Options? Make it Latino!

We’ve all been there — sometimes you’re looking to eat cleaner, or sometimes you’re just looking to lose a few pounds. Especially for those of us who spend a lot of time at the CSUN campus, our weekly diet of Panda Express and Dave’s Hot Chicken could get much healthier.

However, a big fear of those who go into diets is that they think they can only eat unseasoned chicken with rice — especially Latinos, who are very accustomed to our food and culture.

We are used to eating meals we grew up with, and making a considerable switch to other foods can be challenging and may discourage the continuation of our health journey. You are prone to breaking your newfound lifestyle when you restrict yourself from eating the food you truly love.

Thankfully, there are many ways to eat healthy without having to say goodbye to the food you love. So here are seven tasty and healthy meal ideas for this back-to-school season:


Mosh or Avena.


Growing up, my mom would make me mosh, or avena, as some others know it, at least once a week. This is the grown-up, healthier version of avena, with added almond butter and chia to add protein, and strawberries to get fruit into your breakfast! I also prefer to use almond milk, but you can choose your milk of choice.




Tinga, a classic Mexican dish, is a nutritious lunch or dinner option. It’s made with shredded chicken, a tomato, chipotle chilis, and onion sauce. Usually, you eat it with tostadas and crema. For a healthier option, you can eat it on its own with a mixed green salad, or exchange the usual tostada for tostadas horneadas and the crema for Greek yogurt!


Avocado toast.

I know avocado toast is one of the basics for healthy eating, but it’s genuinely a healthy and easy breakfast or lunch you can make any day. The difference here is adding smoked salmon for protein and substituting white bread for whole-grain bread.




Ensalada de atun.

Ensalada de atun is my favorite lunch because it is so easy to make! You can use tuna in water instead of oil to minimize calories and substitute mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. Of course, add whatever vegetables you prefer, like celery or red onions. And you can eat this on its own, with a salad, in a sandwich or with tostadas horneadas.



Huevos con jamon.

Huevos con jamon is actually a healthy breakfast all on its own! Ham and eggs are high in protein and a great way to start the day. You can use egg substitutes like egg whites and turkey bacon for a healthier option. And if you count calories, Guerrero actually sells 25-calorie tortillas, which I use for my breakfast.




Ceviche is a widely loved dish that is surprisingly both low-calorie and high in healthy proteins and fats. Some tips to make it even more nutritious are to use white fish like tilapia, cod, or halibut, and to opt for tostadas horneadas instead of fried. And don’t forget the avocado on the top for extra flavor and more health benefits!


Chocolate milk. All photos taken by Leah Villalpando-Coronado.

Chocolate milk is a staple drink or dessert in every Latino household. You can make it into a healthy meal by making it into a protein shake! You can make this by mixing one scoop of protein powder, 1 tablespoon of sugar-free chocolate Jell-O mix, one small banana, 1 cup of your milk of choice, and cinnamon.

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