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Date added: 11/11/2016 How are Some Colleges Bridging the Gap for Students with Celiac Disease?
Adjusting to college is already a hefty task, but doing so with dietary restrictions caused by celiac disease can cause colllege to be even more challenging. One may ask, “What is the typical diet of a college student?” Honestly, most college students thrive on fast food, ramen noodles, frozen meals, dining halls, and alcohol. All of these items are filled with gluten, which poses a serious issue to students with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease. As results have proven, about 1 in every 133 people in the general population have gluten intolerance. As the rates of gluten intolerance continue to grow, colleges and universities are starting to cater their dining choices to their prospective student bodies. The following colleges and universities have already bridged the gap for gluten intolerant students and continue to pave the way for more:
1. Baylor University
Baylor offers a wide variety of dietary options including gluten free meals throughout their dining halls on campus. They post breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus daily including the nutritional information for each meal. This allows students to plan ahead and see where they can find meals that meet their dietary needs.
2. University of Tennessee
At the University of Tennessee there is a student nutrition coordination in charge of helping students with allergies find foods that are right for their diets. Additionally, Volunteer Dining Hall serves a variety of gluten free options both in their residential dining halls and their various stores throughout campus.
After noticing a rise in gluten intolerant students each year, Kent State became the first university to open an entirely gluten free dining hall on campus this past September. Faculty and staff believe it is important for students with food allergies to have a safe location they can go and eat and to not worry about it. Kent State’s Prentice Cafe has earned certification from the Gluten-Free Food Services Certification Program for their gluten free offerings. In addition to gluten free food, the cafe also serves a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes.
The University of Wisconsin’s student organization “Gluten Free Badgers” supports and raises awareness of gluten intolerance throughout their campus. While the university provides various gluten free options throughout campus, the Gluten Free Badgers help students with gluten intolerance find the right foods for their dietary needs. Additionally, this group continues to create more gluten free options for the college to offer in their dining halls.
5. University of Arizona
The University of Arizona’s Park Student Union and On Deck Deli are the main places that offer gluten free options on campus. The meals in the Park Student Union are prepared in a dedicated facility and the sandwiches in the On Deck Deli are prepared in a designated gluten free area to avoid cross contamination. They also provide nutritional information on their website regarding other gluten free options in their other dining halls.