University Dining Services (UDS) at Oklahoma State University received two national 2013 Nutrition Awards from The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS). The Nutrition Awards aim to help member institutions advance their culinary expertise by acknowledging successful promotions and outstanding recipes.
OSU Dining Services won gold for their entry “Understanding Healthy Dining” in the Most Innovative Wellness & Nutrition Program category. To address poor eating habits that lead to weight gain and possible obesity for college students, OSU created the Healthy Dining Program to help educate students in nutritional awareness. The program includes:
· The “Choose Orange” program, which follows the US Dietary Guidelines, promotes healthy foods in on-campus convenience stores and dining locations.
· Monthly cooking demonstrations in high traffic locations attract students with healthy recipes.
· Nutrition labels are available on all “grab and go” items on campus.
· A nutrition education series and Farmers Market promote healthy eating lifestyles.
· Monthly cooking classes in residence halls teach students how to cook healthy meals.
· In convenience stores, dedicated coolers marked with Healthy Dining signage feature nutritious meal and snack choices.
Included in OSU’s entry is a video starring Pistol Pete: http://www.ostate.tv/?play=8027C298-6EF4-92F2-27F7-7F54C1855F0B
Dining Services tied for Silver for its entry “Grilled Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing” in the Best Local Foods Recipe category. The recipe incorporated five local ingredients: spring mix, spinach, grape tomatoes, eggs, and honey. UDS promotes local food and sustainable living through its Farm Fresh and Made In Oklahoma initiatives. As a result of these programs, 33% of UDS’ food expenditures went to Oklahoma produce and product vendors in school year 2012-2013.
“UDS is thrilled to win these awards. Having our team’s hard work acknowledged by our peers nationally is extremely gratifying,” said Terry Baker, Director of Dining Services at OSU. “We want to make sure our students have every opportunity to learn about healthy eating and the part each of us plays in creating a sustainable environment.”
Thirty colleges and universities across North America submitted entries in the two competitions. Each entry was judged by a team of collegiate dining professionals. The team for Most Innovative Wellness & Nutrition Program was headed by Administrative Dietician Robin Allen MSPH, RD, LDN with Illinois State University at Urbana-Champaign. The team for Best Local Foods Recipe was chaired by Executive Chef Tom Murray with Eastern Michigan University.
“To win a Nutrition Award is a great honor in collegiate dining,” said chair Robin Allen. “So many colleges and universities are doing everything they can to make their dining programs more nutritional and beneficial for the students, and it’s excellent for an institution to be recognized for its efforts.”