Grade your college on feeding students with your food restrictions
Explain your rationale for that grade
The only reaction I have had at school was at an off-campus Starbucks, where they put regular milk in my coffee instead of almond milk.
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 carry an epi-pen. It is used for my peanut/tree nut reactions. My allergic reaction to dairy, sesame seeds, and shrimp can be controlled with Benadryl
Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected they would when you selected your school?
Totally yes, was what I expected
Check all boxes that apply to your college experience
My school has many dining halls, Ability to feed me is fairly consistent across dining halls, I feel safe eating at any dining hall on campus, I have at least one safe dining hall, but avoid some dining halls, I have sufficient options at some of the dining halls, Ability to eat well was a critical part of my college selection process
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.
The schools requires freshmen to have a 14 meals/week meal plan. I started at 21 meals/week and decided it was too many meals, but liked the option of being able to swipe in and get something as simple as a bowl of cereal if I needed. I cut my meal plan down to 14 meals/week because it wasn’t cost-effective for me to have 21 meals/week.
Did you register your food restrictions with your student disabilities office for accommodations? If yes, describe.
Yes, there was a form to fill out for students with food allergies.
Are there resources (nutritionists, chefs, peer support groups) to help ensure you are receiving safe nutritious food? If yes, describe.
There are nutritionists available and there is a dietician who was very helpful. The managers in the dining hall are also very helpful.
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?
I think I would make there be more options for people with dairy allergies. Sometimes, most of the main dishes have dairy, so I’ll eat grilled chicken or a burger (because these are always available), which isn’t bad, but it would be nice if there were more options. I would also change the eggs/omelet mix to not have dairy in it, so there would be other options. (They can do egg whites or fried eggs dairy free, but not scrambled or an omelet.)
Describe your biggest challenge with managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it
I think just finding options, but it really hasn’t been too difficult.
Did your food restrictions impact your housing decision? How? Is there a certain dorm you recommend for those with food restrictions? Why?
There was no place explicitly listed to say you have allergies. The housing office told me (after the fact) that I should’ve put it as a disability and they would have tried to match me with someone who had allergies, but I went random for my roommate and I explained to her that I had severe peanut/tree nut allergies, and she was completely understanding and agreed to not eat those foods in the room.
What's your advice for managing the dining halls with your food restrictions? Favorite dining hall(s)? Any dining halls to avoid?
I would say just talk to the managers at the dining halls. They are helpful and if you can get to know them, they will help you out. My residence hall is attached to Graham dining hall, so that’s my go- to, but Ernie Davis has also been great with my allergies. I think all of the dining halls have very similar (if not the same) menus, so you can feel safe at any of them.
What's your advice for eating in the dorm with your food restrictions? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
There are stores on campus to buy snacks if you want. I also like to go to target once a month or so to stock up on other snacks and things like oatmeal to eat in my room. I really haven’t done too much takeout, but I have done postmates and grubhub and just included a note in the order and have had no issues.
What do you recommend new students with food restrictions do before school starts? Or when they first arrive?
Before- call the dietician. After- introduce yourself to the managers.
What's your advice on managing the party scene with your food restrictions?
I would say just make sure your friends know about your allergies, carry a Benadryl or an epi-pen on you when you go out. Otherwise, I don’t share drinks when I’m out and I don’t order food if we go out afterward.
Grade your college town area for feeding people with your food restrictions
Explain your grade. What are your favorite places to eat in town or foodshop?
I really don’t eat anywhere else except occasionally Chipotle (on Marshall St) and sometimes restaurants at Destiny. Sometimes, I do GrubHub or Postmates and just include a note about my allergy and it really has not been an issue.
Anything else you would like to add?
No, but please feel free to reach out with any further questions.