The 10 Healthiest College Dining Halls in America

6. Bates College: Lewiston, ME
At Bates College, students have free access to a nutritional consultant, who also helps dining services plan the menus each week. Menu identification cards with dietary information can be found next to each entrée. Bates also uses all low-fat and non-fat options, and they contract with local farmers to provide the freshest produce possible. Students love the pasta station, the vegan station, the brick oven and the euro station (where students can taste low-fat versions of European foods each day). They also enjoy favorite entrees like whole wheat spaghetti, miso vegetable soup with tofu and pork loin roasted with fennel and rosemary.

7. Pitzer College: Claremont, CA
Pitzer College, one of the five Claremont colleges, believes that a healthy environment, community and menu are all vital to the well-being of their students. Their dining hall revolves around a “Farm to Fork” program, which features organic vegetables, nuts, grains and fruits which are purchased from local farms and combined to create vegetarian and vegan entrees, sandwiches, juices and side dishes. Pitzer students enjoy a salad bar with fresh greens and homemade dressings, a smoothie bar, an omelet bar and a corner deli with meats, cheeses and roasted vegetables.

8. UC Berkeley: Berkeley, CA
In 2006, UC Berkeley became the first certified organic kitchen at an American university. Since then, the university has continued to build their reputation for sustainable, healthy food. All four dining halls managed by Cal Dining have extensive salad bars loaded up with only organic delicacies, and they also use trans-fat-free food products and feature healthy meat choices like turkey bacon and chicken-apple sausage. Aleyni Cerezo, a Berkeley sophomore, maintains that her university is one of the best in the nation when it comes to healthy eating. "Berkeley's food facilities are the best because of their effort to provide healthy meals at a minimal cost to the environment,” she says. “I love Crossroads for its international flavors and its variety of food, as well as its consistent provisions of healthy pizza, salad, sandwiches, and organic food.”

9. University of Washington: Seattle, WA
The University of Washington is located in a city which prides itself on organic and healthy eating, so it’s no surprise that the dining staff at the University of Washington is masterful at creating healthy meal options for their students despite the university’s large size. A dietitian consults with dining services each week to make menus, and all meats are baked or grilled, not fried. Veggies are always steamed and the fried ingredients of every “grill” meal can be substituted with fresh ingredients upon request.
10.  Humboldt State University: Arcata, CA
At Humboldt State University, students rave about the smoothie bar and the extensive salad bar, which features a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits and pre-prepared salads. The main dining room on campus offers three entrees per meal, one of which is always vegetarian, and a make-your-own sandwich bar during lunch, which is stocked with organic options from the university’s own student-run garden. Humboldt has a special program called “The Green Scene”, which helps the university focus on being environmentally friendly, and students involved in WRRAP (Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program) work to create renewable energy and to compost leftover dining hall food.

From hydration stations to make-your-own smoothie stations, these universities work hard to promote healthy, happy lives for their students. Do you think your university’s dining hall belongs on this list? Tell us about it!
Collegiettes from across the country