CMU dining hall expands specialty fare

Colorado Mesa University freshman Katelyn Page ate a hamburger without a bun or a salad but with balsamic dressing for lunch and dinner, possibly followed by ice cream or Jell-O, for the first two months of this semester.

Those items were usually all the 18-year-old from Cody, Wyo., said she could find to eat in the school’s dining hall. She stopped eating gluten in February after an internist suggested she keep a food diary to find out why she had been feeling sick since the beginning of high school.

She recently learned she can expand her meal choices because the dining hall has had several gluten-free options for weeks, including pizza dough, muffins, bagels, bread, pasta, brownies, cookies, chicken nuggets and chicken patties without gluten, the protein found in foods processed from wheat and some other grains.

Students may not know unless they ask, but Colorado Mesa’s dining hall expanded its offerings to accommodate a growing number of students and their growing number of dietary needs. A vegetarian option is available every day, for example, and soy milk for the lactose intolerant has been placed away from the other milk by the cashier’s stand.

“We meet special dietary needs all the time,” Colorado Mesa spokeswoman Dana Nunn said.

Page’s suitemate in Bunting Residence Hall, 20-year-old sophomore Hillary Vice, said she expects the school to have more options for differing dietary needs.

“I know the school is obviously more focused on academics. But to have students come here for these classes, you’re going to have to feed them and have an array of food,” Vice said.

Requests for dietary accommodations have increased, Nunn said, but “only slightly” as enrollment has experienced double-digit growth this year. Most students are just looking for more variety.

“More so, students are looking for good, balanced, healthy food choices,” Nunn said.


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