An update to the BYU app allows students to see nutrition facts for every dining location on campus.
Viewing nutritional facts can make dining on campus easier for students with dietary restrictions, including gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian or vegan.
The app is just one of many resources available to students with dietary restrictions, according to BYU Dining Services Director Dean Wright.
“We are very excited about having the app so that a student can dine in any one of our locations and see on the app the nutritional breakdown of the food, along with all of the allergens that may be found in that food,” Wright said.
BYU student Sabrina Winsor decided to go dairy-free after she noticed she often felt sick after consuming dairy.
“It would come in waves and I decided that in order to avoid feeling awful, I would cut dairy out of my diet,” Winsor said. “It has made me feel a lot better and I have noticed that I am choosing healthier options instead of dairy.”
Winsor said she hasn’t seen a lot of dairy-free options on campus, so she often struggles to find items she can eat.
“A lot of the pre-made options have dairy, so there isn’t a lot of luck there,” she said. “I would love it if there were more options.”
Other BYU students have slightly more complex dietary restrictions.
As a vegan Michaela Williams avoids all meat, sea-food and dairy products. Williams has been a vegetarian since the fifth grade, but became a vegan after she found an allergy to dairy products was the root of the serious migraines she was experiencing.
“My on-campus dining experience has been pretty non-existent,” Williams said. “It would be great to add some more options at least.”
Wright said BYU Dining is committed students who have dietary needs, such as Williams and Winsor.
“To show our commitment, two years ago we became the very first school in the nation to offer a gluten-free friendly concession stand,” Wright said.
Wright said the LaVell Edwards Stadium offers gluten-free pizza, gluten-free BBQ and gluten-free mint brownies.
“We are actually working now on developing a gluten-free cougar tail,” Wright said.
BYU students can meet with a nutritionist at the Cannon Center on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during fall and winter semesters.
The nutritionist can help students find on-campus dining options to meet their dietary needs.
Dining Services dietician Diane Morrow said another way students can gather more information on dining options is talking to the chef or manager on duty.
“When students go to the Cannon Center, the manager on duty or the chef can help identify what areas have gluten-free options and dairy-free options as well,” Morrow said.
Find more coverage on gluten-free options here.