top of page
Advocating for inclusive, safe dining for college students with food restrictions
GFF College Dining Survey Responses
Jan 29, 2019
Survey 1 of 1
Student's Summary Assessment:
Rationale for Grades Given
I haven't gotten sick because of cross contamination which is great! There are designated stations that are completely allergen-free and most food vendors have gluten free bread and change their gloves. However the food that is safe for students with Celiac isn't always very good and I've found that I've been eating the same things (chicken or fish) without much variety. There is rarely gluten free carbs (pastas or pizzas) which I miss. Overall the food could be better but it could be a lot worse.
In Waltham, there's a really good restaurant called Bistro781 which is super gluten free friendly. I also love Not Your Average Joe's and the North End in Boston has so many amazing gluten free friendly restaurants.
Details About this Student's Food Restrictions
How many years ago were you diagnosed with food allergies or celiac disease?
If you indicated celiac or gluten intolerance, how sensitive are you to gluten?
["Extremely: React to even small traces"]
Add details to help us better understand your food restrictions (e.g. sensitivity level, potential reaction, need for EPI pen)
Completed original celiac survey which did not ask about other food allergies
Details About this Student's College Dining Experience
Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected when you decided to attend?
Somewhat what I expected
Have you had a reation from eating in your dining hall?
If Yes, describe each incident and how your school responded
Did you register your food restriction with the disabilities office? If yes, describe
I did not.
Are there resources to help with nutritious, safe dining (e.g. dietician)? If yes, describe
There are nutritionists, dietitians, and chefs who are very helpful and have walked me through the dining hall and explained how everything has worked.
If you were in charge of dining, what would you change? Would your school be open to suggestions?
I'd make more meals allergen friendly (for example they make spaghetti and meatballs (adding breadcrumbs) but could easily use gf pasta or not add breadcrumbs so more people could eat it). I'd also diversify meals more and add gluten free pasta and maybe different entrees to the mix so there is more variety to what I'm eating and I feel as though as I have more of a choice when I'm eating.
Describe your biggest challenge managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it
The hardest challenge is being limited in what options I can have. Eating the same food can be tiring so I try to go out to eat when I can (the area near my school is very gluten free friendly). I also just eat what is there and am thankful it is prepared carefully.
Advice for Incoming Students:
Did your food restrictions impact your housing decisions? Any dorm recommendations
Yes. I applied for an accommodation to get certain housing with a private bathroom incase if cross contamination ever occurs.
Any advice for managing dining halls? Favorite dining halls? Any to avoid?
My advice is to speak to a chef or nutritionist because they're really helpful in figuring out which foods and dining halls work for you. At Brandeis, both dining halls are pretty gluten-free friendly. However, I prefer Usdan because it has two designated stations that are allergen-free as well as a room stocked with gluten free breads and baked goods.
Describe your meal plans over the year(s). What's mandatory? Any suggestions?
My meal plan is 12 meals per week in addition to a certain amount of meal points which I can use to purchase food at our convenience store or other food stall vendors. The school requires that all freshmen have meal plans.
Any advice for eating in the dorms? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
I love gluten free Mac and cheese cups as well as having a stash of energy bars, Tate's cookies, and gluten free pretzels. I usually just order food from amazon or bring it up from home. My mom also made meals that I keep in my freezer in case dining hall food doesn't work out one night.
What should students do before school starts or when they first arrive?
I would definetly pack snacks and figure out before coming to college or when you get there what dining halls work for you so you can establish a routine. I'd also reach out to a nutrionist / chef so you can learn how the kitchen workds and what options are safe for you or not.
Advice on managing parties or dinners out with friends?
Parties are hard. Most alcohol there is cheap and therefore has gluten. I just bring my own to be safe. I recommend having your own supply just incase because its better knowing exactly what you're drinking, regardless if you are sensitive to gluten or not.
Any other advice or comments?
bottom of page