Written by Laura Guerrero-Almeida
National Nutrition Month® is a campaign created by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During March, organizations across the country strive to educate the public on the importance of healthy eating. Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) joins the movement by highlighting how students can make campus dining easy, balanced and delicious.
"This year's March theme is personalizing your plate," said Alexa Schmidt, BUDS RD, CDN. "Achieving that does not have to be complex. Students should ask themselves, 'do I have three or four different food groups on my plate?' We are trying to keep that message simple and show them how they can do that in the dining hall."
BUDS created "Foodie Plate of the Day" to present balanced and budget-friendly meals. The Instagram story series features dining hall plates composed of varying menu items from different dining hall stations. On March 23 the “Plate of the Day” will feature a Caprese Turkey burger from the grill, green beans from Simple Servings and a red apple from the beverage station, available at Appalachian and C4 dining halls for only $3.84.
By exposing students to meal models, we hope they learn to take full advantage of our dining halls. We want to prepare them to personalize flavorful, nutritious and affordable plates.
"Everyone has different tastes," Schmidt said. "We all have different preferences, so students should learn how to make a healthy meal their own, and how to make it something that works for them every single day."
Dietitians continuously work alongside chefs to create delectable and nutritious recipes. All dining halls follow a 35-day menu cycle, and most dishes do not repeat more than once. Our team ensures that students can always look forward to fresh and healthy choices.
"You can always choose a protein source; you can always choose a grain," Schmidt said. "There are always vegetables and fruits available as well. When we are creating menus, we keep these different components in mind."
Our March efforts are a small glimpse of BUDS' work to promote healthy eating. Year-round, we structure our dining halls to make balanced eating effortless.
"We have a lot to offer," Schmidt said. "There is a variety of different, healthy food choices within all of the dining halls and resources at their fingertips."
BUDS dietitians Schmidt and Julie Lee, MS, RD, CDN work to enhance students, faculty and staff's health and well-being. They provide guest lectures, nutrition programs, education materials, special diet management (I.e., celiac disease, food allergies) and more! For more information and to contact our Registered Dietitians for a free consultation, click here.
Students can also use the BiteU app to plan their meals. The app can filter through dining hall menus based on allergens, calorie count and dietary lifestyles. Each dish includes a complete list of ingredients and nutrition facts. The BiteU app is another resource students can use to customize their plates — even before they walk into our establishments. To download the BiteU app on Google Play, click here
; to download from the App Store, click here.