Sep 8, 2009

Dining hall combats unhealthy eating habits

by Emily DeFosse

The freshman 15 is an enemy waiting to attack students regardless of race, gender, sex, religion or class. Thankfully, the Reber Thomas Dining Hall is working feverishly to vanquish the fattening foe. Resident District Manager Chuck Faulkinberry is working to raise students’ awareness about the healthy options the dining hall has to offer.

“In the past we’ve had a lot of healthy options but we’ve not really gotten the word out,” Faulkinberry said.
Students can request to be taken on a food tour to learn about healthy options at the dining hall.

“We give the students the opportunity to walk around with a manager to look at all the stations and understand what healthy options are at the stations,” Faulkinberry said.

Production manager Jeanie Griffis explained that healthy eating is not just about having healthy options. It is even more important to make healthy choices in portion control.

“Instead of taking two containers of fries, only take one,” Griffis said.

Many options at the dining hall are healthier than students realize.

“Our hamburgers are a healthier burger than most fast food restaurants,” Faulkinberry said. “It’s a 90/10 burger which means it’s almost all protein. It’s flame-broiled so most of the fat comes out of it.”

The employees working behind the counters have all been trained to answer students’ questions about the nutrition of the food they are eating.

“If (the students) want something without a certain ingredient in it, or want to get an extra piece of this or that, our folks have all been well trained this year to help our students,” Faulkinberry said.

New beverage options were also added. Soy milk, which has always been available by request, is now available all the time. Flavored waters are also available for students who may not enjoy the taste of plain water.

“We have healthy, fortified waters. They are flavored to encourage students to drink more water,” Faulkinberry said. “But it’s zero calories so it is a healthy beverage alternative to soda.”

Contact Emily DeFosse at

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