Healthy Dining Options at the University of Lynchburg

Burton Dining Hall offers many food options, including a salad bar. Photo taken by Matty Cash.

Matty Cash ~ Guest Writer

     Eating healthy as a college student has never been an easy task, but with COVID-19 making it more difficult to be in large gatherings, eating healthy has become even more challenging for many students.

     The pandemic has encouraged many students to utilize Domino’s Pizza and other delivery options before considering the on-campus dining options. Though it is often more convenient and perhaps safer to order delivery, it is definitely not always the healthiest.

     “We offer so many healthy options, from the salad bar to the deli bar. But ultimately, it is the student’s choice what to eat and what not to eat,” said dining hall supervisor, Lori Elholm.

     Michial Neal, Co-Director and Chef for Dining Services, reiterated Elholm’s sentiment. “Eating healthy in the Caf is always someone’s choice. We offer healthy options everyday. We also offer not-so-healthy options everyday.”

     With that in mind, there are a lot of options to choose from in the dining hall, and sometimes it can be difficult to sort through what is healthy and what is not. However, there is a quick and easy way students can identify healthy foods – Dining Service’s “Green Light Nutrition”.

     “We color code everything [at the Dining Hall]. Green being the healthiest option, red being the option you should take notice and maybe not eat as much of. Everything is labeled that way,” said Elholm.

     Finally, if you have any special dietary restrictions, there are options available for you as well.

     “The biggest thing that we encourage students to do is talk to the employees if there’s a concern. And if there is an even bigger [dietary] concern, they can always set up an appointment with Michial [Neal] and Shaun [Dearden],” said Elholm.

     Moreover, Neal suggested, “If a student has a dietary need, Julia Timmons is the first one I would bring them to…then, work with us to identify what options we have here in Dining Services. We are willing to even make a special meal for someone if there is something that we are not offering during the day that they are able to eat. Let us know and we will make you something you are able to enjoy.”

     So, no matter what your preferences or dietary needs may be, Dining Services have you covered. At the end of the day, there are many healthy dining options on campus, you just have to know where to look and then make the right choice for you. Dining Services has healthy options but also options meant for college students to enjoy, so be mindful of your personal dietary needs.

     If you are looking for further help with nutrition, the Health Center on campus offers nutrition counseling. There is also a nutrition calculator for University of Lynchburg students, which can be accessed at https://app.mynutritioncalculator.net/lynchburg/.

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