College Dining Halls

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Before setting foot in the dining hall, a lot of important information can be gained from talking with various administrators and departments at your school. Most schools have an accommodations office or department, which can help with special needs like dietary restrictions. They can provide useful information, and also connect you with the right people in the Food Service group that is responsible for dining hall food. Meeting in person with a dining hall director or manager, and with the school or food service dietitian, can be very valuable. They can inform you as to how gluten-free food is approached in any particular dining hall, what is offered and when, how things are labeled, and what measures are in place to prevent cross-contamination. While a few colleges and universities have dedicated gluten-free dining halls, most do not. But most now are aware of the needs of gluten-free students, and can provide safe offerings.

Connecting with others who have already experienced your campus gluten-free is also an excellent way to get information. Try scoping out student groups on campus to see if there is a gluten-free meetup group or allergen-free group you could join. Also look to see if there is a local GIG support group on or off campus in the area .

 

 

Questions for staff/servers

Note: it’s always a great idea to be extra gracious and thank the dining hall staff for their help. Plus, if you end up seeing some of the same staff repeatedly, developing a good relationship with them can be very helpful.

 

This article has been assessed and approved by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.