Student Input Meets Culinary Creativity in Healthy New Campus Menus
What do college students want at their campus dining facility? Do they crave a wider variety of pizzas, more toppings for their burgers, an ice cream bar?
Today’s college students are actually looking for more of their favorite home-cooked meals, as well as international flavors, plus more seafood, vegetarian, and vegan entrees.
77% of college students either always watch the food they eat or are careful about many foods they eat, creating a demand for more healthy and nutritious food options.
- ARAMARK’s Fall 2011 Campus DiningStyles survey of more than 144,000 students
ARAMARK’s new college campus menus reflect not only input from student focus groups, but also the innovation of dozens of culinary professionals and chefs, who translated many of the students’ requests into recipes.
To create the new menus, more than 144,000 students were asked questions about their dining experience. One recurring theme: more healthy options.
“I would like to see more food options, and also healthier options than salad. Who wants to eat salad every day?” asked one student from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Working with new flavors, various cooking techniques and concepts from around the world, the chefs designed, evaluated and tested dozens of recipes to add to campus menus. Many are healthier takes on old favorites, while others combine new flavors and ingredients in a healthy mix.
The new menu also aligns closely with the U.S.D.A.’s MyPlate program, offering healthy proteins, lots of whole grains, and more fresh vegetables.
“For many students, the dining program on a college or university campus is one of the most important elements of life as a student after the academic experience,” said Jessica Breslow, national director of residential dining for ARAMARK Higher Education. “We have a wonderful opportunity to share our core health and wellness commitments to encourage students to adopt healthier lifestyles while they’re in college.”