Celiac College Student Survey completed January 2019
Food Service Vendor?
What stage are you in college?
Please describe your meal plan for each year there so far.
freshman year I ate in the dinning halls (some of the dinning halls had gf rooms and such), sophmore year I lived in the sorority house and they had a chef. Luckily many girls with celiac/gluten free came before me. Junior and senior year I lived in an apartment/house and cooked for myself (but still went out to eat on campus).
How many years ago were you diagnosed with celiac?
How sensitive to gluten are you?
Moderate: React sometimes
How would you describe the worst reaction you have had since diagnosis?
Does your college handle celiac food restrictions as you expected they would when you selected your school?
Mostly what I expected
Grade your college on feeding celiac students
Explain your rationale for that grade
Some nights in the dining halls there wasn't a ton of options but there was always something and some of the dining halls had a whole room only accessible to students with celiac (i got special permission). Overall the restaurants on campus are great about it and everywhere is pretty easy except 1 or 2 places.
Check all that apply
My school is large with many dining halls, Ability to feed me is pretty consistent across dining halls, I feel comfortable eating at any dining hall on campus, I frequent certain dining halls because they have more options although all are safe, Ability to eat well was a critical part of my college selection process
Did you register with your students disabilities office for accommodations? If yes, describe. no but i did contact the dining hall staff and dorms
Are there resources (nutritionists, chefs, peer support groups) to help ensure you are receiving safe nutritious food? Describe
i believe they do offer nutritionists and support for whatever you want to talk about but I did not attend based on having celiac
How many times have you been glutenized in your dining hall? If you didn't answer NONE, please explain what happened and how school responded.
Describe your biggest celiac challenge at college and how you manage it
My biggest challenge is when friends order in late night eating or going to Chinese/cheaper "normal" college places to eat
If you were in charge of dining, what changes would you implement to better feed celiac students? Would your school be open to these suggestions?
I would make sure all items are marked with gf, df, etc. and have the ingredients listed
Did celiac impact your housing decision? How? Is there a certain dorm you recommend for celiacs? Why?
No. I would recommend living on central campus because easy access to all the dining halls (you can go to any) or somewhere on the hill (just not markley)
Your advice to new celiac kids for managing the dining halls? Favorite dining hall(s)?
Don't be afraid to ask the staff questions or call before arriving to school. Many times they are more accommodating than you think, but you definitely have to stand up for yourself and ask. South quad and bursley both have gluten free rooms in the dining halls that you can get special access to. There they have all cereals, breads, a waffle maker and batter and so much more. However, I always really liked east quad and mojo as well because things are labeled pretty well. Plus east quad always had Audi’s chocolate chip cookies if you ask and I love those :) Markley is probably the worst but thats because the dorm is a million years old and they haven’t updated anything so barely anyone eats there even if they don’t have food allergies, celiac, etc.
Your advice to new celiac kids for eating in the dorm? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
Just be aware of what you can and cannot eat. Don't be embarrassed by it, many kids have food allergies and this is similar when talking to wait staff. Google is very helpful and it is not bad to have to look something up if you don't know if it is gluten free or not.
Your advice to new celiac kids on preparing before they come? Or doing upon first arrival?
Ask on college tours how they accommodate food allergies and celiac. You can call the school before hand to see what they can do for you. It takes time to adjust to dinning halls even without having celiac so just be patient until you figure out all the best spots for you.
Your advice to new celiac kids on managing keg parties and alcohol scene?
Bring your own alcohol (it's safer that way anyway). Hard cider is very similar to beer so you don't have to feel left out. If you want to play beer games, have your close friend be your partner or someone else volunteer to drink it for you. Play with water in the cups and have your own drink on the side.
Grade your college town area for celiac friendliness
Favorite places to eat in town or foodshop?
Pizza house is a HUGE late night and general yummy restaurant and they are known for their cheesy and feta bread. They do have a gluten free option for both that I LOVE (but of course it’s more expensive), we also have uber eats now so most places if they don’t deliver are on that. I am really into sushi and most places also have gluten free soy sauce (sadako is a good one). Amers is a classic here and has two locations. No gluten free bread but they have wraps which are good. The only place on campus I can’t really eat is mani (pizza and pasta, no GF option). Isalita is really good and so amazing about gluten free/celiac specific but i was stupid and didn’t say anything so I ate the regular chips and got really sick but that was completely my fault and to be honest I’m a little traumatized and will probably not go back soon. Doesn’t deliver but Juicy kitchen is my favorite brunch place (about a 10 min drive from campus) and they can make everything gf. Grocery stores include: kroger, trader joes, costco, whole foods, target I go to all of these places, depending on where my friends go because I don’t have a car so they drive me. Every place has incredible gluten free options and brands. Lucky’s market and plum market are a little more expensive and out of the way but have soooo many gluten free options and new things that I have never heard of. Also fun thing I found is an event on facebook about a 20 minute drive from campus is a gluten free expo event type thing. Its happening all day this coming Saturday. My friend who also has celiac, another friend who has crohns (so she eats gluten free) and I are going together. There are always events like these. Also my friend started a banana bread company and its entirely gluten free just because she likes to be healthy and she is super careful about cross contamination. They are mini breads and are now being sold all over campus. It’s called GoNanas
Anything else you would like to add?
Since being gluten free has become trendy, many of the restaurants and spots know what it is and are careful. However, it is important to specify that you have celiac (or an allergy if they don't know what celiac is) and you aren't just being picky. Overall, UofM has been a great place to be gluten free and has not been too difficult. I have also been extremely lucky with accommodating friends as well which has helped tremendously. They are always willing to share/order gluten free food (despite the added cost)