As we all know, a New Year’s Resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. One of the most popular goals is to improve health whether is be losing weight, getting fit or living a healthier lifestyle. We, at Sodexo, are committed to helping our students and customers at Gonzaga University reach their goals and help them make healthier lifestyle changes.
While the students were away during Winter Break, Sodexo employees worked hard to create new programs in the COG’s Resident Dining. With the hiring of a new Executive Chef, Thomas Morisette, Sodexo had its own New Year’s Resolution: To educate students on healthy living by providing healthy options and teaching them to make the right choices. When the students returned in January, they were welcomed with many new healthy and dietary restrictive options in Resident Dining.
What the Sodexo Team came up with has been fantastic! For starters, there is now a new permanent Vegetarian/Vegan station during all meals which is always manned by a Chef. The Chef’s have created some amazing recipes like Meatless Sheppard’s Pie, Vietnamese Pho Noodles and Black Bean Enchiladas. Our Grill station is now always serving a Chickpea and CousCous Gluten Free Burger for those with Dietary Restrictions which compliments our Gluten Free Bread and Muffin options that are always available. During breakfast, there is a new Oatmeal Bar with tons of cut up fruit and other nutritious toppings to get the day started right. For lunch, our Salad’s to Order station has been a huge success and the lines get longer every day!
As always, all of our nutrition facts are posted by the food item and available online so that students have the tools to make healthy choices. At every meal there is always one entree that is flagged and labeled “A Balanced Way” which signals to students that it is a healthy choice. These items can range from Grilled Mediterranean Chicken with Orzo and Steamed Vegetables or even Pizza made with Whole Wheat Crust, Low-Fat Cheese and loaded with Veggies!
In order for us to educate the students on all these new options, we hosted an event in the COG where the entire menu consisted of healthful items. We had our resident dietician on hand to answer student’s questions and to help educate them about the options available. We also created a Facebook contest which encouraged students to make the right choices by having them post photos of themselves eating healthy items. The person with the best photo won $100 to amazon.com! We have received great feedback from all these changes, especially the event. The students are encouraged and so are we! We plan to not only keep offering these new options, but to expand on them. As we say at Sodexo, “A Better Tomorrow Starts Today!”