Is healthy eating reality or ruse in the RFoC?
April 4, 2011 —
With roughly 1,500 chocolate chip cookies eaten daily at the RFoC, students might not always think of healthy alternatives to chocolaty goodness.
The buffet-style dining area now offers choices for students looking to eat healthy. Guests, residential students and those looking to stave off the “Freshman 15” can benefit from developing good eating habits in the RFoC, say RFoC personnel.
This year, RFoC chefs and management have introduced more vegetarian items to their menu such as honey carrots, roasted red potatoes and okra.
They also have tips for lowcalorie meal choices.
For breakfast, they suggest replacing syrup and butter on waffles with yogurt, fruit and granola.
For lunch or dinner, the exhibition and stir fry stations allow students to choose portion size and select from vegetables such as carrots and corn.
In addition to these choices, Kelly VanConnett, an RFoC sous chef, said that stations with someone cooking behind the counter is a great way to eat healthy.
“A healthy option is any station with a chef because the food can be customized,” she said.
Blake Allen, an international studies and secondary education sophomore, said that having customized meals is important for students taking charge of their eating habits.
“You are giving students a choice,” he said. “That way, they get to be a part of their meal.”
VanConnett said the RFoC brings in its supplies from a single vendor but also uses produce grown at SVSU. Some herbs and lettuces are supplied from the University’s greenhouse.
There are five stations at the RFoC: produce, pizza, grill, exhibition and comfort food.
The produce and exhibition stations allow students to customize meals and the comfort food provides healthy vegetarian meals and home-cooked dishes, including ribs and baked potatoes.
Vanconnett said that she understands the difficulties freshman can face in avoiding the “Freshman 15.”
“It’s hard, because simple, fresh, fattening food is what the freshmen want,” Vanconnett said.
The RFoC has introduced healthy choice options for students, including more vegetarian dishes.
“The voice is so huge and demand so low for vegan foods,” Vanconnett said.
This year, the RFoC posted additional nutritional information at food stations, giving students access to calories and portion size for food regularly offered, such as cheeseburgers and pizza.
One slice of white bread has 67 calories and an average adult must walk one mile to burn 100 calories. A two mile walk will not burn off the calories of a sandwich made with white bread.
A healthy alternative to bread is using leaf lettuce at the deli station to make a lettuce wrap.
Hummus on a sandwich can be a healthy option instead of mayo. Two table spoons of original hummus have 50 calories compared to the 90 calories of one table spoon of mayo.
For desert, students can eat a 230 calorie chocolate chip cookie, or a small bowl of nondairy ice cream, topped with fruit for a low fat dessert.
“We go through over 1,500 chocolate chip cookies per day and only about ten dishes of sugar free Jell-O,” Vanconnett said.
Healthy food alternatives will continue to be offered at the RFoC. Students are encouraged to view nutritional information offered at the desert and grill stations and ask a chef for lowcalorie food options.