Parents and Families

Two students dining

If your student eats in dining halls, you may wonder, how's the food, and can your student get what they need and want? 

It's nice to know that U-M ranks in the top 25 best dining halls in the nation, according to BestColleges.com. But what does that mean for your student?

It means that every day, your student can choose from a wide variety of tasty, nutritious, appealing and culturally relevant foods. (And MDining serves more than 25,000 meals every day!)

How do students navigate all those food choices? With MDining tools, it's easy for students to make informed food choices: 

  • The MyNutrition website helps students find menu items, including allergen-free and preferred foods, and keep track of calories. This tool also displays nutrition information and ingredients for every single item offered.
  • A mobile app also provides this information so they can check what's for lunch on the way to the dining hall. 
  • Menus displayed near each serving area provide the serving size, macronutrients, common allergens, plus identify vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, halal and MHealthy dishes.

If your student has a food allergy, you'll want to know that MDining adheres to the food allergy management policies recommended by the College Food Allergy Program of Food Allergy Research and Education.

Students who require gluten-free (GF) foods can use special pantries in Hill, Bursley and South Quad dining halls. The pantries are locked rooms, stocked with GF foods, plus separate plates, silverware, cups and dishwashers. Students must complete an online training and be approved to use the pantries.

"There are many students on campus with food allergies or special dietary needs. Roughly 700 students have special dietary needs or approximately 7% of the dining population,” says Lindsay Haas, Culinary and Nutrition Support Specialist. “The real value in MyNutrition is allowing students to make the best choices for themselves and being able to dine independently with their friends.”

Students who eat kosher or halal foods can get them, plus appropriate foods during Passover and Ramadan. For more information, see Religious Observances.

The small plates that are used throughout the dining halls reduce food waste and help prevent over-eating. In addition, smaller portions allow students to choose a wider variety of food and get more varied nutrients. Of course, students who are still hungry can always go back for more.

Finally, MDining buys fresh local food as often as possible. Last year, MDining spent 12% of its $15 million budget on local and sustainable foods.

If your student has special needs or questions, they can contact MDining registered dietitians by calling 734-647-2614 or sending an email to eatsmart@umich.edu.

For more information, please visit the MDining website

 

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