Future of the Dining Centers

Every day for Roxanne England, a registered dietician at the North Dakota State University Dining Center, is different.

She holds many responsibilities and her opinion is sought after for determining what food will be provided to all three dining halls. Those who seek out England’s knowledge will start to see the dining center from a new perspective.

Even though the first few years at college allow students to eat whatever and whenever they want, England believes the NDSU dining centers provide students with many options to eat healthy.

England said the dining services “strive to be more in line with what’s trending while also providing the most nutritious options to students who may want to eat a healthier diet,” and many improvements have been made in the dining centers to steer students toward more balanced diets.

With the expected expansion on the Residence Dining Center, students will have even more choices when it comes to healthy eating.

“The addition to the RDC will have multiple hot food lines with different options: one with a regular dinner and others that may offer healthier meals,” England said. With the larger space, England agrees that the Residence Dining Center is sure to become even more popular than it already is.

The dining center web page contains nutritional information for all meals, which makes choosing an appropriate amount of food less challenging for students.

Aside from attempts to help with quantity control, England stated there have also been great improvements to the diversity of food offered at NDSU. Over the past few years, many additions to the salad bar have made it easy to cook up anything when one prefers something other than what’s offered for dinner.

England said students in the dietetics program this year have been working to develop recipes for a cookbook that was released a couple of weeks ago. The book features recipes for dishes students can easily make on the grill. The book can be found in all dining centers and, in addition, the Memorial Union Dining Center advertises a weekly recipe, which is visible when students walk through the doors.

Regardless of where students stand on the health spectrum, England recommends following some Myplate tips to building a healthy meal. She says choosemyplate.gov is a great resource for students who want easy-to-follow rules of thumb when it comes to healthy eating habits. A few examples are: 1) Enjoy your food, but eat less 2) Use a smaller plate 3) Include whole grains and 4) Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way.

It’s clear that England and the dining centers have put a lot of work into providing students with healthy and tasty food. With an unlimited meal plan, students can either abuse their power of indulging in endless treats or appreciate the easy access they have to fresh fruits and vegetables.

For those who would like advice from England or have any questions regarding nutrition at the dining centers, she can be contacted at roxanne.england@ndsu.edu.

The NDSU dining center nutritional information can be found by going to ndsu.edu/dining/menu, selecting a dining center and then clicking on the red apple above the desired meal.

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