Healthy menu sets Simmons apart from typical dining commons

August 25, 2008

University Park, Pa. – This fall semester, Simmons Hall is packing a healthy punch. With a menu featuring a large assortment of healthy options, students will be able to take a break from burgers and pizza, and enjoy fresh, hearty meals that they can feel good about.

Simmons, located on the edge of the South Halls residence area, offers lean entrees, homemade sauces, whole grains and vegetables, fresh fruits, and made-to-order salads and wraps. By focusing on portion control and low-calorie food items, the all-you-care-to-eat dining commons is a great place for students to enjoy tasty meals and snacks and know that they are eating wholesomely.

“We take a more healthful approach to eating by placing more emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats,” Simmons Manager Karen Henderson said. “Everything here is a healthy option for students.”

Simmons is deep-fryer-free. Instead it has an extensive salad bar, fruit bar, rotating whole grains and vegetable bar, and six daily soups. All entrees are balanced meals and are less than 400 calories. There is also a wide variety of options for vegetarian and vegan customers.

“Students can enjoy a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Simmons every day,” Director of Residential Dining Lisa Wandel said. “We know a lot of them already want to eat healthier and this transformation is for them, but we’d also like to provide a starting point for students interested in learning how to eat healthy.”

Even the desserts, which include yogurt and sugar-free ice cream from the Berkey Creamery, are healthier. Other items on the dessert menu are sherbet, frozen yogurt, parfaits, cakes, and cookies—all under 150 calories.

“Instead of being hit in the face with burgers and fries all of the time, this will help students make better choices,” Henderson said. “There is a niche for this. We thought it was a good opportunity to offer something a little different.”

In addition to a healthier, wholesome menu, Simmons will be displaying “sample plates,” recommended by Student Nutrition Assistant Rabiya Dharsi to help students make easy choices on what to eat. In addition, nutrition and wellness education programs will be offered free throughout the semester.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009