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Friday’s Flavor: Healthy options at BU

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Moving away from home can be intimidating by itself, and not having your mom conveniently available to whip up something nutritious for you can also be a rude awakening.

Instead of grabbing something from the vending machine and risking the chance of gaining the freshman 15, how about checking out the cafeterias?

I know. The food is all the same color and you think you ate a half cup of salt by the end of your meal. I used to think the same thing. But it’s different now. There are new choices, and Bradley even has a registered dietitian on campus who is trying to change the menu for the students.

Do you have a food allergy or intolerance and think there is nothing for you to eat on campus? Well, that isn’t the case anymore.

Every student on campus has access to healthy food choices. Changes have been made to account for students with food allergies or intolerances. Gluten-free entrees as well as packaged snacks are available at Geisert cafeteria every day. Soy and rice products are also offered there. The staff and dietitian are on hand to help anyone who has food restrictions.

Students have access to Halal meats and kosher foods in Center Court.

Bradley currently has a kosher prep area in University Hall, and once renovations are complete in Geisert, there will be an entire kosher kitchen.

One of the campus dietician’s main focuses is working with the staff at Geisert to revise the menu by incorporating new food items to keep from being too repetitive.

If you’re looking for a quick healthy breakfast check out Outtakes, Center Court, The Stacks, or Jerry’s Juice Bar for a Bundle UP! It is a 300 calorie or less pack containing a Kashi, NutriGrain or Special K bar, yogurt and a piece of fruit. This is a simple way to grab a healthy breakfast on-the-go that will give you some energy for those groggy morning classes.

Have you ever seen an S² symbol above an entree in the Geisert cafeteria during lunch? It means the entree is part of a promotion called “Sensible Selections” offered only during lunch hours at Geisert. Each entree follows specific nutrition criteria and is based off the “flexitarian” diet. Sensible Selections is a mostly vegetarian option that incorporates lean meat twice a week.

Those entrees are: 400 calories or less, 15 grams of total fat or less, 5 grams of saturated fat or less 600 milligrams of sodium or less and 90 milligrams of cholesterol or less. This information can be found on Bradley’s Food Service website under the promotions tab.

The nutrition criteria for these entrees are a third of what is recommended each day by the United States Department of Agriculture. This can help students limit their intake of calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol.

Balanced Choices is another promotion that is available in the Student Center Dining Hall. These entrees are easy to spot by their pink, green, and blue logos which indicate Fit, Vegetarian, Vegan and Ocean Friendly. The nutrition requirements for the Balanced Choices entrees are similar to Sensible Selections with the exception of 20 grams or less of total fat and 100 grams or less of cholesterol levels in the Fit category. Ocean friendly means that the fish were harvested in an environmentally sustainable way.  

Each month a different “Superfood” is recognized on the dining services website. These items are placed throughout the food service locations by incorporating the Superfood into the entrees and side dishes. Recipes are available on the website as well as on the newsletter that is produced by the registered dietitian.

This month the Superfood is legumes. They are an excellent source of insoluble fiber.

If a student has any food allergy or intolerance concerns please feel free to contact Danielle Gehrke, RD, LDN at

Bradley has a lot of healthy options on campus, so make sure you try them out!


Revised for accuracy by Amanda Newell, RD, Bradley Dietetic Internship

Director and Assistant Professor in Family and Consumer Sciences.

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