College Dining: Healthy Changes
Have you had time to peruse a college dining hall menu recently? If so, you may have noticed that the menus have changed drastically in an effort to fit the requests of students and staff alike. With a radical shift toward healthy eating habits in general, dining halls have had to make many changes to satisfy consumer demand.
Recent food trends have consumers focusing on a wide variety of factors: food processes, where ingredients are sourced from, food waste issues, food safety, etc. Awareness has pushed campus foodservice to improve their facilities, equipment, staff education/training, and foodservice practices altogether.
Healthy Changes to College Dining
Campus foodservice professionals focus on more than just getting food out on time. There is a long list of concerns, solutions and practices that have become relevant to campus dining:
- Foods made with fresh ingredients
- Diverse culinary options: Vegan, vegetarian, Kosher, Halal, allergy-free foods
- International menu options
- Sustainability/Food Waste Reduction/Compost Program
- Salad Bars
- Farm to Campus (on campus farms)
- Use of local food sources
- Reusable dining ware and to-go containers
- Student education (cooking, reducing food waste, sustainability)
The Best of the Best
Want to know what campus’ are doing it the best? Check out this article that breaks down the 25 Best College Dining Halls.
The NatureSeal for Foodservice product line has been helping university and college foodservice professionals offer diverse menu offerings with fresh ingredients for many years. As members of the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS), NatureSeal has been the solution to foodservice professionals where fresh cut produce is concerned. As a perishable, fruits and vegetables make up a large part of the food waste in dining halls. NatureSeal’s ability to prolong the shelf life of fresh cut produce helps to reduce food waste, while allowing staff to prep ahead of time.
What other campus foodservice concerns, solutions or practices have you seen? Please share in the comments section below.