Stevens Dining’s Nutrition Services are designed to broaden the college community’s knowledge of health and nutrition, while expanding palates and improving food choices. Our full-time dietitian fosters an environment with the tools essential for a healthy diet and assists students in meeting individual dietary needs. Designed to have a broad impact on entire the campus community, our Nutrition Services are led by nationally accredited Registered Dietitian, Karly O’Brien, MS, RD. Karly specializes in food allergies, culinary and sports nutrition, and weight management with a passion for educating others on the topics of food, nutrition, and overall wellness.
No matter what item it is, nutrition information is available to students both on the floor of the dining hall and online. Individual product identifiers (PIDs) listing the item name, along with calories, total fat, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and sodium are paired with each menu item. These PIDs also make use of the menu icons to make students aware of how each option fits into their diet.
In addition, students have access to our full-time Registered Dietitian (RD) via email or phone, throughout regular business hours. The Campus Dietitian is available for any individual and menu-related nutrition questions. Whether an individual is looking for healthy dining hall combinations, has a request for a healthier item, or has a dietary restriction they need to be catered to, our Campus Dietitian and Head Chef are there to guide, assist, and educate the campus community. All students are welcome to contact our dietitian to discuss their individual needs and accommodations. To set up an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the semester, nutrition events are hosted by our Registered Dietitian. These events provide students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to meet briefly with our Campus Dietitian, to learn more about the featured nutrition topic, in a fun and engaging way. Events include educational games, cooking demos, informational displays, and Q & sessions. Each event includes informational e-handouts on the topic at hand and recipe cards!
The Stevens Dining menu cycles and stations offer a wide variety of selections for both the average student and those with specific dietary preferences and restrictions. Menu icons pointing out vegetarian, vegan, and balanced options are present on menus, product identifiers, digital menu boards, and online. No matter where each student is looking to eat, these icons can help students make smarter, healthier choices that are consistent with dietary preferences.
As for our students with special dietary restrictions, they are strongly encouraged to make dining services aware of their restrictions via our Campus Dietitian. To discuss options available to them in our dining halls, request specialty items specific to their needs, or conduct a dining hall tour with our RD, this service is an essential tool for students who may otherwise be restricted.
Our NEW G8 Station is a great resource to all of our students with special dietary restrictions, and allow them to choose nutritious foods while avoiding the top eight major allergens (eggs, milk, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat) & gluten. The G8 menus rotate on a four-week cycle and consist of protein, starch/grain, and vegetable option.
All students with any form of dietary restrictions have access to ordering allergen-friendly and special request items such as gluten-free baked goods, dairy-free alternatives, and vegan meats, cheeses and other packaged products. In addition to all management and head chefs being required to pass an online allergen training, all dining hall staff is trained personally by our Campus Registered on this essential topic at the beginning of each semester.
Each semester, our Campus Dietitian also conducts Student Advisory Boards, including Dining Committee meetings. These student board meetings help ensure needs aren’t only being met but the voices of these students, in particular, are being heard. During meetings, attendees communicate their concerns, ask questions, provide suggestions, and try new menu items/products. The management team also takes this time to provide updates on any changes so these students experience nothing but exceptional dining service.
For those with more severe allergies, an individualized plan is created. The student and their family work personally with our Campus Dietitian and Foodservice Director to formulate a plan, which is specifically tailored to the individual’s needs and schedule. Made-to-order Allergen-Friendly meals specially prepared by our trained Chef are also available to students who need more assistance meeting their dietary needs within our dining facilities.
As a resource to the campus, our full-time Registered Dietitian (RD) is available on campus daily to provide counseling services, presentations, and seminars to the entire campus community, absolutely free of charge. Our nutrition services remain a popular service utilized by many students, athletes, and faculty on campus. Whether it be for one “refresher” session or weekly appointments, students work one-on-one and in groups with our Campus Dietitian to discuss food options in the dining hall, answer food and nutrition related-questions, and reach specific diet, wellness, and physical goals. Counseling is available for weight management, sports nutrition, food allergies, general healthy eating, and other nutrition and diet-related concerns. More specifically, goal setting, diet analysis, meal planning, body composition testing, dining hall tours, and product evaluation are often performed by our RD to work with the student towards their individual goals.
Another popular service throughout the campus include our free presentations and seminars. This past year, our Campus Dietitian presented to over 10 different student groups, including Resident Assistants (RA’s) and their residents and various sororities and fraternities, along with 8 different campus athletic teams.
To help inspire participation and enhance the content, snacks and food are often served at these events. Whether it’s on-the-go packaged snacks or the students assisting our RD in creating an easy dorm-room option, these presentations are always a hit. The students especially enjoy the Q & A session at the end where they can ask more individual questions.
Students especially look forward to our annual health and wellness competition, known as the Healthy “U” Challenge. For students looking to improve on healthy eating, and positive eating behaviors, and who want to get moving without a focus on weight, this challenge was the perfect way to keep yourself accountable and motivate yourself to step up your health game. Bi-weekly challenges were created and run by our Campus Dietitian and each challenge winner received a healthy prize!