Gourmet Dining Services has created a healthier environment in the Caf with the addition of a dietician and by introducing the Hydration Station and calorie cards.
Vice President of Gourmet Dining Services Anthony Frungillo said that the additions were part of a new plan to inform the students of the food served in the Caf.
“We’re trying to make the students and the community more informed about the food we’re serving and the nutritional information about it,” Frungillo said.
To kick off the semester, Seton Hall University and Gourmet Dining Hall Services hired dietician Jenn Bortedo to help inform and educate students twice a month on the food served in the Caf, as well as offer healthy eating and exercise tips.
“We’re trying to set up classes with a couple of Resident Assistants that reached out to us on how to teach their students about healthy eating,” Frungillo said. “It’s going to be very educational because, for example, next month’s Heart Health Month. She’s (Bortedo) going to have a lot of things on exercising and eating healthy and how to make the right choices.”
Frungillo added that the Caf also features nutritional cards at each station that details calorie intake, explains ingredients that may trigger allergies and, most importantly, a green button on the card explains that the particular food is a healthy option.
“The key thing we really want people to focus on is when they see that healthy option, because no one really wants to read through the calories because the lines are usually long, when you see the green button it tells them to go for this (the healthy food) instead of going for that,” Frungillo said. “A lot of the buttons are an easy reference so you can quickly go by each station.”
Events were held on Jan. 19 and 20, in the Caf to inform the students about the new additions,inlcuding a question and answer with Bortedo about diet and exercise, with winning students receiving water bottles.
“It was kind of interesting to find out the healthy options that were there that several students didn’t know about.”
“One of the things that I never really knew was that frozen vegetables still have the same vitamin’s and nutrition as long as they’re flash frozen so you’re not losing what you thought. I guess canned was different because I got that question wrong,” Frungillo said. “Every student that came up even if they got it wrong or right or we made sure they got it right, we gave them a water bottle so they had a second chance with another question to get one right. We handed out about 125 of them so that was a good turnout.”
The Hydration Station was also introduced this semester, and it offers a healthier option to sugar concentrated drinks containing fruit or herb-flavored water.
“I utilize the Hydration Station instead of drinking soda because I heard that soda makes you gain weight so if I have water its healthy and it tastes good and it makes me want to taste it more,” freshman Kristen Napolitano said.
Frungillo said it gives students a lower sugar option than soda.
“It’s not the most flavorable thing in the world, but you still get the benefit of having the fruits and different herbs in there that help the body and drinking water is one of the best things for you.”
If you want more information on how to contact Jenn Bortedo, the dietician please visit firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacqueline DeBenedetto can be reached at email@example.com.