What does a dietitian do anyway?!

 Network of Nutrition

Written by Sara Patterson, MS, RD, LDN

Ever had a question about what to eat when dining on campus? You’re in luck because Sodexo has a network of dietitians who can help answer that very question! Health and wellness are a large component of Sodexo’s 14 Commitments to a Better Tomorrow. Sodexo and its employees strive to make the world a better place by providing fresh, tasty and nutritious fare for our customers.

To help educate our nation’s future about making healthy choices, Sodexo employs dietitians throughout college campuses. Dietitians offer a plethora of services to the students, faculty and staff with whom they work. They provide one-on-one nutrition counseling on topics including weight loss, food allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure, Crohn’s disease, digestive issues, eating disorders, pregnancy, anemia and many others.  If requested, dietitians will work with dining staff to create individualized meal plans for students with complex diets and food allergies. Internally, dietitians train management and frontline staff on allergen friendly dining, gluten intolerance, and national Sodexo Health & Wellness programs including Mindful, MyZone, Simple Servings and MyFitnessPal.

As part of campus outreach, dietitians provide services such as guest lecturing, interactive nutrition tables, representation at wellness fairs, cooking classes and residence hall presentations. The list is really limitless! As one example, dietitians came together for an event at Colby-Sawyer College in conjunction with the Baird Health Center and dining services to put on its second annual health fair. The event included a table with information on how to build a balanced plate, sugar in beverages and sodium in certain foods. Students volunteered to have their plate “rated” which gave them the opportunity to discuss the foods they had chosen. The dietitians offered simple ideas on how to make the students’ plates more balanced. People often know what the healthy choice is, but may need a friendly reminder or tip on how to go about it. The day ended with a question and answer session which several nutrition classes attended with their professors. It was a great opportunity for the campus community to come together with dining services and dietitians to discuss health and wellness.

We are constantly reminded about the obesity epidemic in this country and the health issues that accompany it. It may feel like an uphill battle and people sometimes wonder where to start. Good nutrition begins with knowledge. Our network of dietitians reaches thousands of people across the region and plays a part in the solution. Sodexo shows its commitment to a Better Tomorrow by providing access to nutrition experts who are readily available for students, faculty and staff.

What are you waiting for? Contact your district’s dietitian today!

                                                                                         Twitter: @FoodieSaraRD

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Wednesday’s Food for Thought: Earthy, Crunchy is the New Cool

 Written by Colin Murphy, Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living, Spring 2013

New York Times writer, Jeff Gordiner writes about how granola has changed over the years.  He talks about how a “once-humble granola is now a high-end growth industry.”  Gordiner talks about the earthiness of granola and how it was once “the lumpy woolen sweater of the food world.”  Times have certainly changed.  Granola and other healthy foods like hummus and kale have become hip and mainstream in recent years.

It is “cool” to eat healthy these days.  The more natural and the less processed food is, the cooler it is.  Farmer’s markets are not filled with ‘hippies’ anymore, they are trendy and very popular. Americans want to eat healthy and as natural as possible. Food Inc. and other similar productions have scared and disgusted society into eating healthier. It is disgusting that former leaders of large companies like Perdue Chicken are now writing regulations for the F.D.A.  Yes, these folks are knowledgeable in their fields but biased as well. 

Groups of people are starting to make a statement by avoiding these large companies and trying to eat healthier and more natural.


Is eating healthy the new “it” thing?


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Nutrition at PSU


 Written by Hillary Pakus, Nutrition Intern 2013

            As a Health Promotion major here at Plymouth State University, I was given the opportunity to work with the campus’s very own nutritionist, Sara Patterson. Through this experience, I am learning first-hand how the Sodexo company incorporates good nutrition and overall wellness into all of their campus dining services. Having moved off campus this year, I was eager to see what type of changes the dining services had made. Various new meal programs have been added, including the “mindful” option. Mindful meals ensure you are consuming an appropriate number of calories, as well as optimal nutrients for your health and energy levels. For the student’s viewing, all of the food options have been labeled and provide nutritional values as well as any allergy warnings. With food being the fuel to our busy bodies, it is important that students are able to see what it is exactly that they are consuming.  Other healthy improvements made include gluten free and vegan meal options, spice racks, and various TV’s throughout illustrating nutrition facts and healthy meal options.

            With such an increase in obesity and nutrition-related illness in today’s youth, it’s crucial that the students have access to a healthy nutritious diet. Working as a health promoter, I created a bulletin board entitled “Spring Clean Your Diet.” With Spring being a time of new beginnings, what better way to start the year than with a healthy clean diet. On the board I illustrated an array of fruits and vegetables that are currently “in-season,” as well as their health benefits and tips on preparing them. For those interested in agriculture and food production, I also wanted to showcase a local farm, D Acres of Dorchester, NH. This not-for-profit permaculture farm functions as an educational center that teaches skills of sustainable living and small-scale organic farming. Many students are unaware as to how important farming is to a community. In fact, Prospect Hall has recently been serving products from local farms such as eggs and baked goods. In return, all of our weekly vegetarian food scraps are sent towards the pigs of D Acres Farm.

            Another project I’ve taken on working with Sara was creating a pamphlet for students showcasing the idea of homemade vitamin water. Many students today rely on sugary soft drinks in order to keep them going throughout the day. In fact, studies show that among teenagers, soft drinks account for nearly 13% of their total calories. As a healthy alternative, our homemade vitamin water recipes are made with fresh fruit and herbs. They provide you with essential nutrients and antioxidants, as well as keep you hydrated throughout your busy day.

I am confident that throughout my time spent working with Sara, I will be able to successfully promote good nutrition as well as implement various projects. A healthy diet is so important to a person’s overall wellbeing, and it is our job to provide that privilege to the students of Plymouth State.

How do you bring nutrition to campus?

Where Restaurants Go Wrong

Written by Eden Berube, Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living

Going out to eat and finding a healthy meal can be a challenge. Many individuals who opt to dine out assume that ordering a salad will prevent the damage of packing on calories. Have you ever assumed this? Well, reevaluate! There are a few restaurant chains who have not mastered a healthy salad plate menu option. Take a look at the chart below, based upon the information from takepart.com about each salad’s fat and calorie count.

Wendy’s Baja Salad – 730 calories, 47 grams of fat

Taco Bells’s Beef Fiesta Taco Salad – 780 caories, 42 grams of far

Outback Steakhouse Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad – 856 calories, 55 grams of fat

TGIFriday’s Yucatan Chicken Salad – 860 calories, 60grams of fat

Ruby Tuesday’s Carolina Chicken Salad – 1100 calories, 46 grams of fat

Houlihan’s Prime Steak and Wedge Salad – 1130 calories, 108 grams of fat

Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad – 1380 calories, 99 grams of fat

 However, it is still possible to avoid the pitfalls of this nasty restaurant trick. Here are a few key words to avoid to make sure your salad is staying on the healthy side!


*A La King: This term typically means the plate is not only piled high with ingredients, but a cream sauce is usually included.

*Béarnaise Sauce: All you need to know is that the heart of this sauce is butter based. Enough said. 

*Caramelize: This term can generally be associated with frying the food…to bring out it’s natural sugars and flavors, the food (such as an onion) will generally spend a little more time frying in the pan than if the ingredients were not “caramelized”.

*Cream, Crispy, Sautee and Stir fry:  These terms undoubtedly scream “extreme artery cloggers”.

*Crusted: The typical way of “crusting” an ingredient involves oils and sugars…yuck.

*Flash Fry: Just because “flash” means “fast”, does not mean that the extra oil did not have time to stick to what you are consuming. Bash the flash and opt for something else. Your heart will thank you!


Ask for:

*Boiled, Steamed, Broiled, Grilled, Baked: Yes please!

*Al Dente: This fancy term may sound like it will be overly rich and overly stuffed with ingredients you don’t want, however all it means is that the ingredients are not overcooked. This is a great healthy option!

*Blanch: All this involves is a quick dip in different temperature waters. Help yourself!

*Glaze: This may be acceptable if it was not glazed in oil. The dish may have an egg yolk glaze. Just ask your server!

*Marinate: This will just enhance the flavor to make those healthy toppings more scrumptious. Yum!

*Parboil: All you need to know is that this option involves boiling. Dig in!

*Reduce: This just means that the food was boiled and simmered. This is alright!

*Skim: This means the extra fat is being removed….yes!

*Thicken: This may sound like a no-no, but just ask your server what they used to thicken the ingredient with. It may just be a pinch of flour or drop of cornstarch!

*Top and Tail: This just means that the end of the ingredient (such as a snap pea) is being removed. Don’t be fooled by wordy terms!

Another quick tidbit of information? Use your common sense! For example, a salad that advertises, “Perfectly drizzled with candied nuts and a medley of dried fruit”screams sugar. It is the little details that really make a difference. So don’t be ashamed to ask to make little changes. Ask for no nuts, and maybe to throw a handful of strawberries or blueberries on top instead.  Are you into Asian Inspired salads? The number one ingredient that is usually on an Asian salad is fried sesame sticks or fried noodles. So, be an educated consumer that differs from the rest and know what is being put in your food!

Remember, it is possible to eat healthy at restaurants and to order healthy choices. Don’t be blind to the restaurant business. Do your body a favor, and think before you order! Happy dining!

What’s your favorite restaurant dish?

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Welcome Back!

We hope you had a great summer break and welcome back to campus!!

Delish Dining is looking forward to an amazing school year.

Stay tuned for great things to come.

Have a Great Summer!

Delish Dining wishes you a happy summer break. We hope you had a great semester.

Take a break, relax and we will see you in the fall!
For health & wellness questions over the summer, email Sara.Patterson@sodexo.com

Wednesday’s Food for Thought: Breakfast Noms

 Written by Shawn McEvoy, Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living, Spring 2013

Everyone in their life has heard someone say, “eat your breakfast, it’s important.” Whether you take that advice or not is up to you but in reality, eating a healthy breakfast is crucial to our diets and our health. In this particular article Healthy Breakfast Roundup: Your Favorite Morning Eats, they mentioned how eating breakfast every morning you can actually “have more energy throughout the day” and have a higher performance with whatever you are doing.

                One thing you want to look out for when eating breakfast is choosing foods that will keep you full for longer periods of time that are healthy. The article mentioned that “overindulging in calories and fats will have you feeling hungry in a few hours, sluggish and at risk for weight gain.” This is completely true. If you eat foods that are high in fats and calories, they will make you even hungrier in just a few hours. If you were to eat healthy foods during breakfast, you are able to eat a lot more of them making you full for a longer period of time.

                It is very important to eat a healthy and well balanced breakfast every morning. You will be able to see dramatic changes in your health, performance, and your day to day activities. Next time you prepare your breakfast ALWAYS think, healthy, good protein, good calories, and portion control. If you are able to meet these four requirements, you’re that much closer to maintaining a healthy breakfast.


What’s your favorite breakfast food?

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Friday Nutrition Tip: Make it a Lifestyle!

Written by Matthew Moher, Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living, Spring 2013

Eating healthy and nutritious food is more than just a choice, it’s a lifestyle.  The old saying you can tell everything about a man by what kind of shoes he wears or what kind of car he drives is also true for every man.  Healthy choices sometimes aren’t the most tasty, but we all know and have seen the results of making multiple bad choices.  I’m not saying a slice of pizza or a scoop of ice cream is going to kill you, or turn you into a bad person, but over time if you create bad habits they will catch up with you. 

I myself am not perfect; I love ice cream and Oreo’s, so I truly have no place to judge other people.  But I eat these “unhealthy” snacks in MODERATION, and before I eat the treats I have fruit this helps me balance my craving for the sweet, and supports me not eat the whole box of Oreo’s.  This understanding of moderation and having unhealthy snacks as treats instead of regular parts of our meal is a dying trend in the college lifestyle.  Instead of having hamburgers and ice-cream as a meal once in every month, it is a regular quick and easy food people say ok to almost every day.  They then ask themselves where the “freshman 15 ” came from.  Instead of making a “treat” a regular part of your meal, keep it a treat and only have it occasionally and make yourself eat more dark, leafy greens.  Who knows you might actually like and begin to enjoy the leafy green salads instead of the green mint chocolate chip!

How do you make nutrition part of your lifestyle?

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