Market Square is just a few weeks away from featuring two new food programs.
These programs will help make healthy choices easy to find and will provide more options for students who have certain food restrictions.
The Sodexo staff is currently in the process of bringing programs “Mindful” and “Simple Servings” to the dining hall, said Eric Davis, executive chef of Market Square.
The “Mindful” program is geared toward helping students make healthy eating decisions and encouraging them to live a healthier lifestyle, Davis said.
He said the dishes will be easy to identify by specific labeling and signs so students will know what healthy options are available.
Lauren Watson, the registered dietician at the TCU Brown-Lupton Health Center, said that the marketing components of the Mindful program will help students recognize what the healthy options are and encourage them to eat good balanced meals.
The program also has a web component where students can reference the website to connect with a dietitian, discover recipes and read health tips.
The other program, “Simple Servings,” will seek to provide more options for students who have food restrictions.
The dining staff developed a menu of entrees and sides that will exclude seven common food allergens, Davis said.
Watson said this will allow students with food allergies and intolerances to have more options while dining at Market Square.
The station will have separate plates and silverware distinguished from other materials in Market Square by color.
Separating the plates is the main way that the staff will make sure that the food does not come into cross-contact with other items, he said.
“I think it will help build the trust,” Davis said. “At the end of the day, if the customer doesn’t trust me or trust the staff to know that they did prepare this right and they did follow these guidelines, then it’s really all for nothing.”
Sodexo saw a need for these programs to be featured nationwide, Davis said.
And junior business major, Sydney Cox said she even sees a need for these programs here on TCU’s campus.
Cox said that she has celiac disease and cannot eat any gluten or any foods that have cross contamination with gluten or she will get sick. She said she is looking forward to the programs being implemented into Market Square.
“It [Simple Servings] is going to give me a lot more confidence in different areas around Market Square,” Cox said.
Cox has already recognized the improvements the dining services staff has made since her freshman year.
“They’ve gotten more and more through the student collaborations with the dining professionals and they’ve done a lot of research,” Cox said. “They made [Market Square] so much better already.”
“It will be nice for faculty and staff who eat over there as well,” Watson said.
The new offerings will be located in between the Cookhouse and Expeditions sections. These stations will replace the current Green Cuisine area.
“We have space issues to contend with,” Davis said.
To compensate for the replacement of the vegetarian and vegan station, the staff is expanding the menu at the Cookhouse to offer more vegetable dishes. David also said a lot of the side items at the new stations will be vegan as a result of the allergy restrictions in recipes.
The menus will be limited at the initial start of the program and initially will only offer lunch and dinner. But Davis said breakfast and brunch pieces that will be added over time.
“We’d like to make this apart of every meal that you can come into Market Square and have,” Davis said.
Although a specific date is not set for the programs to be implemented, customers can expect to find the programs in the dining hall in about three weeks.
More information will be given throughout social media postings, and pamphlets about each program will circulate around campus.