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Advocating for inclusive, safe dining for college students with food restrictions
GFF College Dining Survey Responses
New Mexico State University
May 18, 2021
Survey 1 of 1
Student's Summary Assessment:
Rationale for Grades Given
While they provide some great gluten free options, like grilled chicken, french fries, and main dishes they could improve on training about cross contamination. For example they have gluten free pizza dough, but it is cooked in a pizza oven with wheat. They could also improve on labeling gluten free food.
There are only a few places with gluten free options, but a lot of the New Mexican food does not have wheat. I would recommend tacos at Chalas would fire grill. The ice cream at Caleches good if you avoid the ones with wheat. St. Clare's winery and Bistro has some options. K-Bowl on university across from Starbucks makes really great healthy bowls that are great for lunch or dinner. Sprouts is the grocery store I go to most often.
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)
Need gluten free and try to avoid dairy. I do not carry an epi-pen.
Details About this Student's College Dining Experience
Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected when you decided to attend?
Mostly 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
Yes, it took a while and I did not end up using it, but I was able to register which would allow me to get out of the standard meal plan or the first year housing requirement.
Are there resources to help with nutritious, safe dining (e.g. dietician)? If yes, describe
Yes, the chefs are attentive to my requests and try their best. Sometimes there is confusion about what gluten free means, but for the most part they have been great.
If you were in charge of dining, what would you change? Would your school be open to suggestions?
I would label all foods with allergens and wheat. I would provide more healthy gluten free options.
Describe your biggest challenge managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it
The biggest challenge is going out with friends. There are not a lot of gluten free resturants in Las Cruces so it can be difficult to navigate that.
Advice for Incoming Students:
Did your food restrictions impact your housing decisions? Any dorm recommendations
No, I was able to eat enough in the dinning hall to live in the dorms. If I needed a kitchen they would allow me to move into an apartment on campus.
Any advice for managing dining halls? Favorite dining halls? Any to avoid?
My advise is to ask questions because the staff are helpful. In Toas the grilled chicken and fries are great options.
Describe your meal plans over the year(s). What's mandatory? Any suggestions?
My meal plan consists of "swipes" and "dollars". The swipes are used for meals at the dinning hall. Here they have a grill, pizza, and various meal options . The dollars can be spent through your ID on NMSU outside the dinning hall to buy coffee or other food on campus. The school required a large meal plan for freshman year, but after that their are smaller options that are avaiable.
Any advice for eating in the dorms? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
Eating in the dorm can be difficult, but if you bring a fridge and microwave there are a lot of simple recipes you can make like oatmeal, pasta, of microwave meals. It is easy to make smoothies or salads in the dorm as well.
What should students do before school starts or when they first arrive?
I would recommend bringing a mircowave and fridge, most students do anyways. It is also good to meet with someone in food service to talk about gluten free options
Advice on managing parties or dinners out with friends?
I would recommend eating and drinking before social events so that you don't have to navigate food their. Bring your own drinks that you know are okay.
Any other advice or comments?
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