Frequently Asked Nutrition Questions

Rutgers Dining Services offers a variety of food items which are naturally vegan and vegetarian as well as specialty vegan and vegetarian items in all of their dining operations. Stop by any dining hall and try the pasta bar, the stir fry station or Mongolian Grill, the salad bar and various vegan and vegetarian hot entrees.

If you need assistance finding a vegan or vegetarian item (i.e. meat and dairy alternatives) or have questions about the ingredients in a food item, please ask for a manager in the dining hall as he/she will be happy to assist you.

Know before you go. You can access our online menu for daily food offerings with nutritional information and ingredients. To access the online menu, visit our website at  http://food.rutgers.edu/ then choose your location and click the “daily menu” button.

Having difficulties finding food options that meet your dietary needs? Feel free to contact our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists below to discuss your options further.

For the average college student, it may be difficult to balance a stressful lifestyle along with a nutritious diet. The RU Healthy Dining Team (RU HDT) is here to help!

GOAL: The Healthy Dining Team aims to educate students about nutrition and to provide the necessary tools to adopt healthy eating and lifestyle habits while dining on campus.

READ ONE: The team writes weekly nutrition newsletters that can be found in all four campus dining halls. Access copies of nutrition newsletters on our website: http://food.rutgers.edu/aboutus/healthydining/eating-101-newsletter/

STOP BY: Every three weeks, the Healthy Dining Team brings a creative and interactive nutrition booth to the dining halls.

HAVE FUN: The Healthy Dining Team hosts many exciting programs through Dining Services. Check out our Facebook page for upcoming events such as our Menus of Change Cooking Demonstrations, Iron Chef competitions, and Evening of Healthy Indulgences in the dining halls.

KNOW US: The eight-member team consists of nutritional sciences majors under the tutelage and guidance of Nutrition Director Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN.

Have a nutrition question? Stop by one of the booths, send an email, tweet, or write on the team’s Facebook wall. The RU Healthy Dining Team can be found on Twitter (@RUHDT), Facebook (search “RU Healthy Dining Team”), and Instagram (@RU_HDT).

Feel free to contact our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

Rutgers Dining Services offers a variety of foods which are naturally gluten free and specialty gluten free options for students with a documented medical need.

If you have questions regarding ingredients in a food item, please ask for a Dining Hall Manager upon entering the dining hall and he/she will be happy to assist you. Remember to always “ask before you eat”.

Know before you go. You can access our online menu for daily food offerings with nutritional information and ingredients. To access the online menu, visit our website at  http://food.rutgers.edu/ then choose your location and click the “daily menu” button.

Do you have a medical need for a gluten free diet, such as a gluten allergy, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease?

Dining Services has sophisticated programs in place to help ensure that students with a medical need for gluten free diets have appropriate, safe, and delicious food options.

The first step is to fill out a Medical and Dietary Consideration Form. This form will help us better clarify your dietary restrictions and any doctor recommendations. Please follow the directions on the form for completion and submission.

After submitting the form, you will be contacted by one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to schedule a dietary meeting and discuss your options further.

Question for the Nutritionist? Feel free to contact our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

Religious dietary needs such as Kosher and Halal diets can be accommodated by asking to speak with a Dining Hall Manager upon entering the dining hall. Although Rutgers Dining Services is not a Kosher or Halal facility, each dining hall offers select pre-made certified Kosher meals and Halal meats upon request.

Having difficulties finding food options that meet your religious dietary needs? Feel free to contact our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists below to discuss your options further.

Dining Services has sophisticated programs in place to help ensure that students with food allergies, intolerances, or specific medical diets have appropriate, safe, and delicious food options.

The first step is to fill out a Medical and Dietary Consideration Form. This form will help us better clarify your dietary restrictions and any doctor recommendations. Please follow the directions on the form for completion and submission.

After submitting the form, you will be contacted by one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to schedule a dietary meeting and discuss your options further.

Remember to always “ask before you eat”. If you have questions regarding ingredients in a food item, please ask for a Dining Hall Manager upon entering the dining hall who will be happy to assist you.

Know before you go. You can also access our online menu for daily food offerings with nutritional information and ingredients. To access the online menu, visit our website at  http://food.rutgers.edu/ then choose your location and click the “daily menu” button.

Question for the Nutritionist? Feel free to contact our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

Foods are not labeled with ingredients due to the high potential of cross contact with other foods in a buffet style of service. For example, for someone with celiac disease, even a naturally gluten free item like rice, once placed in the buffet service, has a high risk for students or guests to unknowingly cross contact the rice with other foods containing gluten. Therefore, once placed out for service, we assume that the rice is not 100% gluten free anymore due to cross contact. If we label this rice as “gluten free” and it comes in contact with gluten in the buffet setting, a student or guest could become very ill. We have many students who are highly allergic to different foods, where cross contact can cause a life threatening allergic reaction.

Know before you go. Our online menu lists the daily food offerings with nutritional information and ingredients. To access the online menu, visit our website at  http://food.rutgers.edu/ then choose your location and click the “daily menu” button.

If you have a food allergy, it is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment to meet with our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to discuss your dietary options. If you are in the dining hall and have an immediate question about ingredients in a food item, please ask for a Dining Hall Manager who would be happy to assist you.

Question for the Nutritionist? Feel free to contact our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

Yes! Healthy choices are not only available in the dining hall, they are available at take-out as well. Dining Services has joined the Menus of Change initiative, a multidisciplinary approach to providing healthy, sustainable, delicious food choices within the university foodservice sector and beyond.

Following the 24 Principles of Healthy, Sustainable Menus, we are continually changing take-out (and in-house) menu offerings to better serve our students and our environment. Say hello to whole intact grains with our Whole Grain Bagel Bar (including toppings such as smoked salmon, fruit and veggie cream cheeses, and avocado), Warm Apple and Quinoa Bowls, Whole Grain Flatbread Pizza and Harvest Grain Salads. Think produce first and try our Eggplant Rollatini over Zucchini Noodles or our Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”. Lookout when plant and animal proteins combine forces in our signature 50% Blended Mushroom and Beef Burger, less meat certainly does not mean less flavor. Other creative burger options include Beet & Bean, Salmon & Amaranth, and Turkey & Zucchini, to name a few. Find innovative beverage offerings including filtered ambient, chilled, sparkling, and fruit infused water to replace those sugary drinks.

We believe that our food choices, what we eat and what we serve others, influence our health and the health of our planet. Join us as we continue to change together, one blended burger at a time.

Additional Questions? Feel free to contact our Registered Dietitians below:

Marina Vineis, RDN
mvineis@dining.rutgers.edu

Dr. Peggy Policastro, RDN
peggyp@dining.rutgers.edu