Dining Hall Survival Guide

The dining hall can be a grim place for vegans or vegetarians. Besides the salad bar there is often only 1 or 2 overcooked or greasy options. Some colleges have gotten better about this lack of vegetarian options, my own school actually added a whole veg/gluten free menu in one of our dining halls my senior year. A little to late for me, but hey, progress is progress.

Here is my suggestion on how to get a balanced meal at the dining hall or any buffet.

You know the trays that hold 3 compartments, 2 small quarters and 1 big half? Start with those imaginary lines on your plate.

Next fill the 2 quarters, one should be full of protein, so beans, hummus, lentils, tofu, etc.

The 2nd quarter should be full of carbs, rice, bread, pasta, this portion is usually put in the big 1/2 but there is no need for 800 calories of rice.

The big section is for something much more important: fruit and veggies. Pile on the steamed vegetables, carrot sticks, fruit salad, or salad bar.
And always: eat colorfully! The more variety of colors in your meal the better your chance that you’re getting the nutrients you need.

Check out the pictures above for dinner ideas.