Source: Udi's Gluten Free
Our 2013 list received such incredible recognition and helped so many of you in your college decisions, as well as helping students start the gluten free conversation with their school dining halls, that we are honored and excited to present our new, updated Top 10 Gluten Free Accommodating Colleges list for 2014!
We here at Udi’s believe that healthy and gluten free options at colleges should not only be readily available, but should also be constantly evolving, getting better, and getting safer. Gluten free and healthy options should not be static, but rather dynamic and constantly improving. With that in mind, we’ve spent a year talking to and visiting schools across the country to find the best of the best.
Deciding on our Top 10 was one of the hardest decisions we’ve made! There are SO many schools out there doing a great job with gluten free, and we urge you to do your own research as well. That being said, these schools impressed us with their safe handling and labeling, wonderfully varied menu selections, and very active student groups, just to name a few. We feel that these schools truly go above and beyond when it comes to helping gluten free students thrive, and we hope you do too!
1. University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT – 30,000 Students
The University of Connecticut Department of Dining Services award-winning dining program provides flexible meal plans. Due to the success of the dining program there has been a growth in the numbers of students who voluntarily participate in dining options due to the creative flexible services that have been developed based on student’s requests. Students who subscribe to a gluten free diet are encouraged to meet with our dietary team which consists of a Registered Dietitian, a Dining Unit Manager and a Production Chef. This orientation enables the student to understand what is available, to make specific adjustments to the students’ needs and to make a personal face to face contact and begin a daily partnership that will enable students to navigate through the dining program without frustration. UConn Dining Service’s mantra is, “Obtaining a college education is difficult enough. Obtaining food choices to meet your dietary needs should not be difficult.” Every Dining unit has a special gluten free area that stocks strictly gluten free foods. Our Food Court has a complete gluten free menu and so does our casual restaurant.
2. SUNY Geneseo
Geneseo, NY – 5,000 Students
SUNY Geneseo is a liberal arts college located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The dining program at Geneseo delivers the same high standards that students at the college have come to expect in the classroom. We take special diets and allergies very seriously, and have a full-time registered dietitian on staff to help us create the best possible food and experience for our guests. Gluten-free options are abundant on the campus with menus that consist of a mix of naturally gluten-free items and specialty gluten-free products in all of our restaurants and cafes. All menus are labeled with a yellow GF symbol; staff is trained to use purple allergen kits containing special cutting boards, knives and utensils when preparing gluten-free foods; and we have two areas specifically geared towards gluten-free customers. Vidalia’s is an allergen friendly food concept with simply prepared, nutritious foods that are free of many of the top eight allergens. Food Studio North has a dedicated gluten free kitchen that showcases a culinary-driven gluten-free menu for all customers to enjoy.
3. Loyola Marymount
Los Angeles, CA – 10,000 Students
For the over 9,000 Loyola Marymount students, gluten sensitivity is a worry of the past! Students express appreciation for the large variety of menu choices, ease of access to flavorful food options, and the accommodating customer service provided by the LMU Hospitality by Sodexo through its Gluten Free dining program. LMU was one of the first Universities in the nation to be an accredited “GREAT School” by the NFCA, including completing gluten free training for all chefs and managers. LMU currently boasts an entirely gluten-free dining platform at their main dining hall and has at least one gluten-free item on the menus of over 20 dining platforms.
4. University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH – 15,000 Students
Through our shared values we provide superior hospitality services to our guests in support of the teaching, research and public service mission of the University of New Hampshire. We assist guests’ varying degrees of nutrition needs, from gluten-free to multiple food allergies and intolerances. Our culinary, nutrition and management teams work together to assure special nutrition concerns of individuals are attended to, featuring our Allergen-Friendly station (wholesome items prepared free of gluten and the top eight most common allergens), our online meal order form for gluten-free meals and individualized accommodations. Many students choose our university based on their positive dining experience with us and how we meet their allergen concerns.
5. University of Georgia
Athens, GA – 35,000 Students
The University of Georgia (UGA), established in 1785 as the nation’s first state-chartered university, is the flagship institution among the 31 colleges and universities in the University System of Georgia. With just over 35,000 students and approximately 10,000 faculty the University is the largest and most comprehensive educational institution in Georgia. Our mission at UGA Food Services is to provide the best food and service to those who choose to dine with us. Our nutrition program focuses on helping students establish healthy eating habits through nutrition services and education. Menu planning is completed with gluten free and other special diets in mind, creating abundant dining opportunities all students can enjoy together.
6. Tufts University
Medford, MA – 11,000 Students
Tufts University is located in Medford, MA and has approximately 11,000 students. Tufts Dining takes food allergies seriously. There are food allergy and gluten free guides available online that are written to assist students in making appropriate choices. The guide contains useful information and tips specifically for how students with food allergies and intolerances can recognize food ingredients to avoid what they are allergic to and eat safely while at Tufts.*
*Information taken from Tufts University Dining website, http://tufts.dining.edu
7. Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA – 75,000 Students
Liberty University is a religiously-oriented, private, co-educational, comprehensive institution. It has a residential enrollment of 12,600 students, and an on-line enrollment of over 90,000. The mission of Liberty University is to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact the world. Our gluten free offerings include a completely gluten free lunch and dinner every day. We have a 4-week menu cycle which provides lots of variety, and we also offer gluten free meals-to-go and snacks in our convenience store.
8. University of Texas – Austin
Austin, TX – 52,000 Students
The University of Texas Austin’s Division of Housing and Food Service (DHFS) puts students first when it comes to food allergies and celiac disease by offering free consultation sessions with the Registered Dietitian and Food Allergy Support Team, along with making specialized living and dining accommodations a possibility through a partnership with the University’s Services for Students with Disabilities. DHFS works hard to make living on campus with celiac disease a little easier, offering gluten free options at every DHFS dining venue and campus market and by providing online menus with an allergen filter and full ingredient listings. Students also have the ability to request specially prepared meals made in a designated facility by specially trained staff and then reviewed by the Registered Dietitian. DHFS has an aspiration to incorporate a gluten and top eight allergen free pantry and serving line in their resident dining halls to make UT an even more gluten free friendly campus community.
9. University of Colorado – Boulder
Boulder, CO – 32,000 Students
The University of Colorado Boulder is located in scenic Boulder, CO and has an attendance of 32,000 students. All of their dining halls clearly label the top eight allergens and gluten on all meal offerings and strive to ensure a wide variety of delicious menu options. Gluten free breads, bagels and cereals are available in all dining centers, and The Bakery on campus creates and serves a variety of gluten-free baked goods. In addition, all retail and grab-n-go outlets offer gluten-free items and also label all prepared food for allergens. The C4C (Center 4 Community) dining hall has a brand new, dedicated gluten free breakfast space with toasters, bread, bagels, and all of the condiments and toppings you could want.
10. University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ – 40,000 Students
The University of Arizona, located in Tucson, AZ with over 40,000 students, is unique in the sense that all of their dining is retail – there is no residential dining. Gluten free food, in addition to vegan, vegetarian and healthy options, is clearly labeled with a special icon. In addition, the Red and Blue Market grab-n-go’s have a dedicated and clearly labeled gluten free line which includes prepackaged sandwiches wraps, sushi and salads prepared in Core+, a dedicated gluten free facility and restaurant. The University of Arizona Gluten Free club is highly active in the community and partnered with the Tucson Medical Center to organize the Tucson Gluten Free Expo. This Expo allowed well-known and little-known brands from across the country to introduce their gluten free products to local consumers and increase awareness of Celiac Disease in the community.
Georgetown University, Texas Christian University, Notre Dame University, University of Pittsburgh, and Iowa State University