Food Allergy and Celiac College Student Survey submitted January 2020
Describe your food restrictions by checking all relevant boxes
Food Service Vendor (if known)
Grade your college on feeding students with your food restrictions
Explain your rationale for that grade
Food is not labeled, and gluten free entrees are not offered every day. There is an app you can use to check ingredient lists, but it doesn't say anything about gluten free so you have to use your best judgement. It is time consuming and not always clear.
What stage are you in college?
How many years ago were you diagnosed with food allergies or celiac disease?
Please use this space to provide details that would help us better understand your food restrictions. Include your reaction if exposed to the foods you are avoiding. Please mention if you carry an epi-pen.
I was diagnosed with celiac when I was 4 years old. I often have stomach aches when I eat in the dining hall a lot, but I'm not sure if that's from gluten or just from an unhappy stomach. When I eat at home or at my favorite restaurants, I don't get a stomach ache.
If you indicated that you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, how sensitive are you to gluten?
Moderate: React sometimes
Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected they would when you selected your school?
Mostly not what I expected
Check all boxes that apply to your college experience
My school has many dining halls, Ability to feed me varies significantly across dining halls, I do not have sufficient options at any dining halls, I assumed they could feed me and didn't think about it before I arrived
Have you had a reaction from eating in your dining hall?
Please describe your meal plan for each year there so far. Include if your school required any of these decisions. If you are eating in a greek house or other club type arrangement include that as well.
There is only one meal plan option at Harvard.
Did you register your food restrictions with your students disabilities office for accommodations? If yes, describe.
Yes, I registered with the Accessible Education Office.
Are there resources (nutritionists, chefs, peer support groups) to help ensure you are receiving safe nutritious food? If yes, describe.
No nutritionist and no single point person who can answer all questions.
If you were in charge of your school's dining, what changes would you implement to better feed students with your food restrictions? Would your school be open to these suggestions?
Gluten free food should be labeled as such, and there should be a gluten free main course at every meal.
Describe your biggest challenge with managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it
It is hard to find safe, filling, and nutritionally balanced gluten free food on campus, so I eat off campus a lot.
Did your food restrictions impact your housing decision? How? Is there a certain dorm you recommend for those with food restrictions? Why?
Harvard offers no alternative to the meal plan. You can sometimes get a single dorm room if you have a severe nut allergy.
What's your advice for managing the dining halls with your food restrictions? Favorite dining hall(s)? Any dining halls to avoid?
All dining halls serve the same food, but I can only pre-order food at the freshman dining hall. Even there, pre-ordering is problematic.
What's your advice for eating in the dorm with your food restrictions? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
I got a mini-fridge for my dorm room and I buy snacks off campus.
What do you recommend new students with food restrictions do before school starts? Or when they first arrive?
Register with AEO.
What's your advice on managing the party scene with your food restrictions?
That is not a major concern.
Grade your college town area for feeding people with your food restrictionsAExplain your grade. What are your favorite places to eat in town or foodshop?
Cambridge and Boston have many shops and restaurants which offer gluten free food.