Hot Cheetos no more: Students have several healthy options around the Tempe campus

More healthy food options are appearing on and near ASU

Fruits and veggies – some college students love them and find ways to snack on them throughout the day, while others resort to grabbing a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos from one of the ASU POD markets. 

Students who are pressed for time might excuse their unhealthy eating, but there are actually several convenient healthy options on or around ASU's Tempe campus. 

Research published in 2011 from Oregon State University found that college students were, on average, eating four to five servings of fruits and vegetables a week. The federal government recommends two and a half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit daily. 

College students have the option to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables with a growing number of healthy restaurants opening up in Tempe.

Original ChopShop located on University Drive is a fast, casual dining experience created for people who want a healthy bite to eat.

Miguel Flores, the general manager at the restaurant's Tempe location, believes that healthy food should always be near college campuses in order to ensure students' happiness and healthiness. 

“Our goal is to bring smiles along with healthy, clean food to everybody,” Flores said. “I feel like healthy eatery is on a trend that is not going to go away anytime soon. More places like ChopShop are going to be opening up around campus, which is important to make sure students are hopping on the healthy food train."

Healthy food options are also available directly on campus through Devils’ Greens, located in the MU, and with Freshii, in the W.P. Carey School of Business. 

Jackie Estrada, supervisor at the Freshii on campus, said she believes it is important to for students to have healthy food options among all unhealthy options around campus.  

Freshii mixes things up with a different daily special Monday through Friday. 

“There aren’t a lot of places to go to for a healthy lunch or dinner, and sometimes students come here and they tell us how tired they are of fast food,” Estrada said. 

The Bodhi is a relatively new, health-focused restaurant that opened on College Avenue. Their motto is: "The strength of your health lies within the power of your own hands." 

Sasha Bayat, one of the owners and the nutritionist at The Bodhi, is a nutrition senior at ASU. She carefully reviewed every ingredient on the menu in order to pick food items that best support the functions of the human body, considering potential dietary restrictions. 

In a month or so, The Bodhi will be offering nutrition consulting and giving out meal plans for those who are interested in creating healthy diets for themselves. 

“We really want to be able to provide healthy food for the students, and especially at ASU, there are so many different types of students,” Bayat said. “We will have wrestlers come in and say they need to feel energized for their workout but they need to cut weight, so we can create a bowl for them."

Bayat said that some students are living on their own for the first time and some of these students don't know how to cook for themselves. Some have different dietary restrictions to consider. The Bodhi can cater to these needs, she said.

The price of healthy foods can discourage students from improving their diets. Bayat believes that keeping the prices for meals low is important in order for students to eat healthy. She said her restaurant's goal is to promote health through education and affordability. 

“Our ultimate objective is to create a paradigm shift within health,” Bayat said.

Reach the reporter at or follow @jessiemy94 on Twitter. 

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