KU Dining Services offers education, activities for National Nutrition Month

KU Dining Services is hoping people see March as a time to consider the benefits of a healthy eating lifestyle and not the time to go mad with junk food during the marathon basketball tournament.

Each year, KU Dining provides a number of educational programs and products to promote healthy dietary choices for KU students, faculty and staff in honor of National Nutrition Month, a nationally recognized program developed and sponsored by the American Dietetic Association.

KU has celebrated National Nutrition Month for more than 20 years, said Nona Golledge, director of KU Dining Services. Numerous events including student and dining employee recipe competitions, product samples and nutrition related displays are planned to help inform and encourage healthy eating habits.

Cheryl Wiley, on staff dining coordinator, researches, plans and prepares all the nutrition education materials, not only for National Nutrition Month, but throughout the year as part of KU Dining’s goal to offer vital health-related information to the campus population.

The month was kicked off with table displays, posters and balloons in all campus dining locations along with the coordination of a student recipe contest with Student Union Activities and KU Dining. Marshall Beauchamp, a sophomore from Hutchinson, submitted the winning recipe, “Quick n' Healthy Red Beans and Rice,” which is on the menu at Impromptu Café this month, and the five finalists' recipes will be featured this week. A KU Dining employee recipe contest is currently being judged by residential dining students. The eight entries meet the Better Bite program criteria and the winner’s recipe will be incorporated into the residential menu.

KU Dining regularly offers healthy food selections, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, baked or grilled entrees with salad bars in all centers. Freshens Smoothies are available in all Pulse locations as well. Informative table displays have been set up with healthy snacks such as juices, pretzels and organic snack bars. Interactive games also have been offered as a way to promote nutrition education with a chance to win prizes like exercise balls, pedometers and mini shopping carts filled with healthy snacks items.

The KU Dining Web site offers a host of nutrition information and a feature called “Ask a Dietitian” in which students and staff can pose questions to KU’s registered dietitians. There is also an online computerized nutritional analysis program, NetNutrtion, where one can calculate their daily/weekly dietary intake. You can find tips on calorie counting, label reading, healthy dieting and portion control, as well as other links to nutrition and health resources from around the Web.

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