written by Elaina Bonora, BUDS Editorial Intern
It’s easy to recognize that health and wellness is an important aspect of our everyday lives, but knowing how to nourish our bodies in a way that is both satisfying and healthful can be much harder. For students, classwork and extracurricular activities can be all-consuming, leaving them with very little time to plan out their meals and make sure that all of the necessary nutrients are accounted for in their diet - let alone know what options are available to them on campus.
Thankfully, they do not have to figure it all out by themselves! Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) registered dietitians, Alexa Schmidt, RD, CDN, and Julie Lee, MS, RD, CDN, are available to help. We recently sat down with Schmidt and Lee to talk about the variety of health and wellness options available to students while dining on campus.
Currently, we have 31 dining locations in operation for students to choose from; including four dining halls, serving each residential community, multiple retail locations across campus, and four off-campus cafes. Schmidt and Lee came up with a convenient list that breaks down everything that BUDS has to offer.
The four resident dining halls (Appalachian, C4, CIW, and Hinman) are made up of many serving stations and offer an array of different meal options. “Oftentimes, students may find they are choosing the same options day in and day out,” Schmidt says. She suggests, “it can be helpful to visit different dining halls throughout the week and different stations to change things up for more variety.” Below is a list of the different serving stations and the options offered at each.
• Entrée line: A feature at all dining halls, the entrée line offers lean proteins, grains, vegetables, and vegetarian and vegan offerings daily. This menu rotates on a 35-day cycle to offer a variety of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
• Create-Your-Own Salad Bars: A feature at all dining halls, the salad bar consists of a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, beans, tofu, hard-boiled eggs, lean meats, cheese, low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, vegetable soups, and more.
• Build-Your-Own Sandwich Station: Offered at all dining halls, this station offers a variety of bread, rolls, and wraps, lean Boar's Head meats, vegetables, hummus, and more.
• The Grill: Located in C4, Hinman, and Appalachian, the grill offers daily and consistent options such as grilled chicken, black bean burgers, garden burgers, Beyond Burger® patties, tofu scramble, and much more!
• Simple Servings: A dining option at both C4 and Appalachian for our customers with food allergies and gluten intolerances, as well as those that enjoy more simple foods. All meals offered at this station are made without milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and gluten. The menu offers lean protein, grains, and vegetables each day.
• Gifts from the Garden: College-in-the-Woods’ exclusively vegan station; menu varies daily, offering plant-based versions of items like tacos, grain bowls, and empanadas.
• The Garden Grill: Hinman Dining Hall offers an entirely plant-based grill, featuring Black Bean Burgers, Chick’n Tenders, Portobello Mushroom sandwiches, and French fries, along with daily rotating dinner specials.
Schmidt also provided a few tips for busy students in the case that they are unable to make it to a dining hall; for example, planning ahead by stocking their dorm room with a few items from the dining halls can be extremely beneficial, ensuring that they always have nutritious food readily available. More specifically, items like a banana or apple with peanut butter, yogurt with berries, soup and crackers, or some raw veggies from the salad bar with hummus can help to account for important nutrients that are needed in our diets, such as protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This way, they are always prepared no matter where the day takes them!
In speaking with Lee about the health and wellness options available in our retail dining locations, she explained, “there are opportunities for students to purchase balanced meals that include foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins on a daily basis.” Below, Lee has provided a general overview of each location and the options offered there.
• Farmer’s Field: Located in the MarketPlace, Farmer’s Field features made-to-order and build-your-own salads and grain bowls that include plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein options to choose from - while building a balanced and delicious meal.
• NY Street Deli: Located in the MarketPlace, NY Street Deli offers a multitude of options to build-your-own sandwich, including whole wheat bread and wraps, vegetables, Boar’s Head proteins, and condiments such as avocado and hummus. Quinoa salad or vegetable-filled soups are available as side options as well.
• Mein Bowl: Located in the MarketPlace, Mein Bowl’s menu features numerous lean proteins, such as Teriyaki Tofu and General Tso's chicken, along with brown rice or shredded cabbage to use as a base, and a variety of steamed and fresh vegetables.
• Red Mango: Located in the MarketPlace, Red Mango serves a variety of smoothies available made with fresh fruits and vegetables.
• Subway: Located in the MarketPlace, Subway offers fresh vegetables and lean proteins to build protein bowls, as well as whole-grain breads and flatbreads for personalized sandwiches.
• Einstein Bros. Bagels: Located in the Science 1 building; at Einstein’s, lean proteins, vegetables, avocado, and reduced-fat shmears are available to top a variety of bagels.
• Garbanzo: Located in the Hinman Collegiate Center; Garbanzo is a build-your-own Mediterranean concept featuring lean proteins, whole grains, and lots of vegetables to choose from.
For more suggestions, tips, and tricks, Schmidt and Lee are available to meet with students to tour dining locations around campus. They also offer additional services such as nutrition consultations, educational materials, guest lectures, and much more! To read about the nutritional services offered by our registered dietitians, as well as how to contact them Click here