10 Tufts Dining Hall Hacks

The Dining Hall: the peak of college cuisine. Whether you’re pro-Carm or pro-Dewick, a freshman on the unlimited plan or a junior trying to be smart with your budget — here are 10 hacks for you to make the most of your dining hall indulgence!

1) A reminder that the menus for every dining hall meal are available at https://dining.tufts.edu! Say you’re lactose intolerant and really don’t want to deal with unnecessary stomach pain, or you’re trying to cut sugar out of your diet — the online dining hall menus are very useful for all dietary restrictions. In any case, the menus are posted online daily so you can check which dining hall has the food selection you want! 

2) You can take (some) foods on your way out! I make sure to load up on fruit because sometimes I realize it’s been three days since I’ve eaten anything fresh #collegelife :’). So, the next time you’ve trapped yourself in your dorm room to study, you don’t have to live off a balanced diet of saltines and peanut butter! Yippee!

3) Invest in a reusable coffee cup! My Thermos keeps my hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold — it has truly saved me in those curiously frigid and oddly hot classrooms. A weirder hack to keep warm: I’ve grabbed boiled eggs in the morning to keep in my pockets as hand warmers.

4) A classic: swipe in and bring your work so you can stay through multiple meal periods! Now you can use your extra meal swipe to buy snacks at Hodge or just another meal!

5) Take advantage of microwaves! Whether you have one in your room, use the one provided in your dorm, or the ones provided in the dining halls — these babies can work magic. Nuke your morning scrambled eggs or your evening baked potato with cheese, or heat up a cookie for a gooey treat to create that ~fresh out of the oven~ feel. I like to warm up some almond milk with cinnamon and honey for a late night indulgence.

6) Speaking of cinnamon, it’s not limited to your hot drink; it’s perfect for any of your sweet or savory breakfast foods, or as just an extra kick to a meal.   

7) Got milk? Try mixing ice cream, soda and milk for a milkshake or soda float for dessert! For an extra delicious breakfast, pour some milk into your oatmeal for a creamier flavor and texture.

8) Let’s talk TOPPINGS! The oatmeal toppings provided are great, but you’re not limited to granola. The dining halls usually have a selection of fruit arranged, along with coconut flakes, brown sugar, and various nut assortments. There’s also a fantastic selection of cereal and nut butters (and even SunButter)! You have everything laid out in the dining hall for you to maximize your meal! Get on in there and sprinkle on some fruit loops, stir in some PB&J, or slice up some bananas — get creative!

9) Think beyond grilled cheeses in the panini press! Try making a sweet sandwich melt with Nutella, sliced banana and honey! 

10) Grab two bowls to mix your salad, grain bowl, or pasta! After you add your favorite dressing or toppings, flip the second bowl and place it on top of the first. Shake intensely. Enjoy every perfectly-balanced bite.

11) Bonus hack! Rice, beans, tortillas and cheese are almost always available at the dining halls — so there’s always the option to make your own burrito. You can even heat it up in to make it nice and warm!