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Dining Places Third in Most Innovative Nutrition Program Contest

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
June 9, 2010

Dining Services works hard to serve up food that is as good nutritionally as it is to eat. Those efforts have garnered recognition from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS).

The NACUFS recently held a contest to see what colleges and universities could come up with the most innovative nutritional meal programs. UNH Dining came in third. (Kansas State University came in first; Virginia Tech was second).

The award reinforces Dining’s nutrition plan to support healthy eating and be an active part of the Healthy UNH initiative, encouraging faculty, staff, and students to improve their health with the ultimate goal of making UNH the healthiest campus community in the country by 2020.

This year’s nutrition program focused around National Nutrition Month with the theme of “Nutrition from the Ground Up.” Events focused on engaging and educating the campus community about simple, economical, healthy foods and eating habits.

“The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating habits,” says Rochelle L'Italien, a registered dietitian with UNH Dining. “It’s also about keeping in mind food as fuel; fueling our bodies with nutrient dense selections over junk items--added sugar, added salt, no fiber, etc. It’s also about starting at square one; about teaching basic skills such as cooking, learning about key ingredients. And it’s also about sustainability – growing food ‘from the ground up’ – using local food sources, for example. What better way to promote these concepts than to be proud of what we do at UNH Dining and enter this contest to showcase what we do, too?” 

 Events included recipe sampling using sweet potatoes grown and harvested on campus, a sushi workshop for faculty and staff, a nutrition survey, and informational cards brochures.

The Healthy UNH Tropical Lunch with Guiding Stars® theme meal was a way to add fun, new items, encourage healthy eating, and highlight the Guiding Stars® program (UNH is one of the first schools in the nation to partner with the Guiding Stars® Licensing Corporation to supplement nutritional labeling with the stars ratings to encourage healthier eating in UNH dining halls).

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