Best Colleges For Restrictive Diets
Sometimes by choice, sometimes by need, dietary restrictions can play a big role in your life. And while you can avoid certain things (e.g., peanut butter, pork and croissants) by cooking your own meals or choosing your restaurant carefully, dining at college can be a bit more of a challenge. Dining hall options may be limited, and cooking all your meals in your dorm is hardly realistic.
But things are changing on campuses across the country. Now, more than ever, students can find accommodations to meet their dining needs. Here are a few of the best we’ve found.
Whether you’ve got a gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, there are plenty of choices for safe and tasty menu items at campuses across the country.
At the University of Notre Dame (IN), for example, students seeking gluten-free food have their own private dining area within the main dining center. To qualify, students just need to meet with the university’s registered dietitian. In addition, Notre Dame offers gluten-free options at all dining locations, on-campus restaurants and convenience stores.
In addition to designated gluten-free areas, many colleges now go above and beyond to train their staff, clearly identify foods and avoid cross-contamination. At the University of Arizona, cooks wear special colored gloves when preparing a gluten-free meal for a student. At Emory University (GA), the staff is trained through the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’s GREAT Kitchens Program.
Twenty years ago, there were few options for vegetarians, let alone vegans, when it came to healthy meals on campus. Today, most colleges offer some form of “animal-friendly” foods, be it entrées, sides, snacks or desserts.
Leave it to California to lead the way in alternative food options! The University of California, San Diego didn’t just add a vegan section to the main dining rooms—it opened Roots, an entire vegetarian/vegan eatery!
At Wesleyan University (CT), the chefs enjoy coming up with new vegan creations—especially desserts! The school even won PETA’s award for being the “Most Vegan-Friendly” small college in 2012. Not far behind, Cornell University (NY) stands out for its Va-Va Vegan Bar and exclusively vegan/vegetarian One World Café.
As of January 2014, 144 campuses in the United States offered some form of kosher food.* The fare ranges from kosher meal stations and restaurants to full kosher meal plans (such as those at the State University of New York at Albany and University of Connecticut) and joint kosher-halal dining options, like at Brown University (RI), Oberlin College (OH) and Wellesley College (MA).
There’s a wide range of kosher options across the country. There’s fresh, there’s frozen and there’s pre-packaged. You’ll have to visit the campus to get a better feel for the fare. In the meantime, you can visit Heart to Heart’s map of kosher offerings at www.theheart2heartproject.org/koshermap to get a more detailed description of each college’s provisions.
*SOURCE: Heart to Heart