Students craving healthier foods can now satisfy their appetites
By Karen Papay
Changes, changes, everywhere changes, especially at CentreSpot in terms of the food services available to students. The face-lift is the result of Western's housing and food services' management listening to students' demands for healthy food choices.
Surveys periodically circulated by food services report students want more variety and healthier food on campus.
Working closely with food representatives and nutrition experts, Frank Miller, general manager of food services at Western, has recently changed residence menus and food outlets in the University Community Centre to reflect current healthier eating trends.
From a choice of Pizza Pizza to the daily stir-fry at Sizzling Cook House which is prepared in front of you, or from the fresh salads available at Crazy Cucumbers to the taco salads, a student favourite, made at Tucson Grill, there is a variety of foods to choose from.
Housing and food services is continuing its work to create one of the best food service systems for students in North America, Miller said. "In terms of nutrition, Western is ahead of the game as shown by a recent second place finish in a North American nutrition competition," he added.
Western residence operations production manager Richard St. Pierre's personal involvement with students helped him create a menu containing a wide variety of delicious and nutritionally-balanced foods, he said.
St. Pierre explained the residences' four-week menu cycle is not written in stone. "If a new item is not working then it will be replaced with something else," he said.
St. Pierre holds regular meetings with residence food representatives to discuss food trends and students' likes and dislikes and holds food shows in April where students can try and comment on potential new food items.
Educating students in terms of nutrition is important, said St. Pierre. With the help of Brescia nutritionists Ann Zoc and Leonard Piche, he has produced the Nutrition Information Reference Guidebook for students.
The manual contains an informative description of the daily nutritional requirements from the four food groups as set out by Health Canada, St. Pierre said, adding it also lists the protein, carbohydrate and fat listing of the different items available to students in residence.
Both Zoc and St. Pierre are available to talk to those students who want to create special diets or learn more about nutrition and healthy eating.