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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Campus Dining & Shops launches nutrition program

This semester, Campus Dining & Shops (CD&S) will attempt to make the infamous freshman 15 a thing of the past by posting nutritional information on all food offered at CD&S locations.

???The newly developed "Take a Fresh Look" program is all about healthy eating, according to Jeffrey Brady, a member of the Faculty Student Association (FSA) for CD&S.

???"We really wanted to educate the students on healthy eating and portion sizes," Brady said. "It allows students to make that healthy choice."

???One of the most extensive changes that CD&S will implement through the program will be Cuisine Cards that will be placed over the main entrees and sides. The cards will indicate all of the nutritional information about a dish, what a serving size is considered, and if food is a vegetarian, vegan, or heart-healthy option.

???An important addition to these cards is the allergy alert section in the upper right-hand corner, which will specify any of the seven major allergens that a dish may contain. Without even having to ask for assistance from dining hall staff, students with these allergies will know if it is okay for them to eat a certain food.

???Cash operations, such as the Ellicott Food Court and Putnam's, will also be providing nutritional information to their customers and all of the Grab & Go items in Putnam's will also feature the stickers. Faculty, who often don't have the time to sit down and eat a balanced meal, pressed CD&S for this option.

???A significant goal of the "Take a Fresh Look" program is to accommodate faculty members and students alike, who are often on the go. The Grab & Go labeled items will make it easy to select a healthy lunch to eat on the way to class.

???Some of the Grab & Go selections were already labeled during the fall semester, but CD&S is working on creating labels for all of the selections throughout the spring semester.

???Kelly Bender, a graduate student who works with CD&S, was the mind behind the "Take a Fresh Look" program. Her past experience working with undergraduate students alerted her to their dietary needs.

???"I was an RA for two years and I had a lot of students who were athletes and had a really tough time during training seasons [with] figuring out what they could eat," Bender said. "I also had some residents with allergens such as wheat intolerance and dairy intolerance, so I just thought that this would benefit students in general."

???According to Bender, the program is useful for freshmen who are away from home for the first time and have not experienced a buffet-style dining hall before.

???"We're just trying to educate students who maybe have never had any type of nutrition education before," Bender said.

???The recent initiative to remove all trays from the dining halls was a first step to help control students' portion sizes. "Take a Fresh Look" follows up on that same effort.

???Feedback from students and representatives from several departments at UB motivated CD&S to initiate this program. The FSA Student Advisement Group, along with athletes, faculty from athletics, representatives from the nutrition program, human resources, graduate students, and dietetic interns offered suggestions and ideas.

???"[The program] allows students to make informed decisions; that's really my goal," Bender said. "Putting out information will allow students to take charge of their eating."



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