The Right Bite | Kent State University

The Right Bite

These are some of the icons used to distinguish dining options on campus.by Lauren Rathmell '17

As part of Kent State’s goal to become one of the healthiest campuses in the nation, Dining Services has been introducing more varied and nutritious meal choices at its dining locations.

A new Culinary Passport program encourages students to go on a culinary adventure by attending themed events where they can enjoy special entrées created by the executive chefs. 

In addition to vegan and vegetarian menus, a “mindful” dining option meets criteria based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and offers limited calories and restricted cholesterol and sodium. Labels (with icons for mindful, vegan, vegetarian, organic, local and gluten free) allow diners to quickly identify the contents of menu items in the dining halls and markets. 

Dining Services also has responded to the needs of an increasing number of people with food allergies who are coming to Kent State. Its chefs and managers are certified to handle food allergies on a campus setting through the national program AllerTrain U. A food station called Simple Servings opened in 2015 at the Eastway Café to offer meals free of seven common food allergens—wheat, soy, egg, dairy, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts—as well as gluten.

“Chef Andrew does a great job of coming up with different recipes,” says Megan Cascaldo, campus nutritionist at the Kent Campus. “The meal option has two entrées, a starch and a vegetable selection, and the menu changes with lunch and dinner.” Originally open five days a week, Simple Servings is now available on weekends too, at students’ request. 

“We encourage students with special food needs to reach out so we can help them,” Cascaldo says. “College is stressful enough without having to struggle to find something you can eat.” 

Visit www.kent.edu/dining for more information.

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