Nutrition

Two students looking at fresh fruit cup in grab and gobble display

Dining Services is dedicated to supplying the university community with daily menus that constantly change, adding new and interesting items and specials. At all times, Dining Services is committed to offering nutrition facts for the food items served in the dining centers. To support this initiaitive and transparency on nutrition information, Dining Services promotes healthy eating with the Y.E.S. – You're Eating Smarter program, which provides healthy eating options in all dining centers.

Similarly, Virginia Tech is aware of special diets and food allergies that students, faculty, staff, and visitors may have, and offers allergy-friendly dining environments. There is also an interactive allergen filter on the online menu that helps dining center visitors pick out what they can and can't eat on campus before even going out to eat.

What is the Y.E.S. program? 
The Y.E.S. program is designed to help you learn to make well-balanced and educated food choices. It involves a series of educational opportunities, including but not limited to table cards with important nutritional information, information sessions, and this website, which posts important information online.

Are there healthy foods in any of the dining centers? 
Yes! There are lots of healthy choices in the dining centers. Although there are some choices that are higher in fat or sugar than other choices, it's important to remember that all foods can fit into any healthy lifestyle. If you make your choices based on the three basic principles of healthy eating: balance, moderation, and variety, you will have a healthy eating plan in all of the dining centers.

Is the nutrition labeling in the dining centers and on the web page accurate? 
In an effort to help students and guests understand what they are eating, Dining Services strives to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date nutritional information. To provide this information, we locate nutrient information on hundreds of products via manufacturers, the USDA database, and package labels for foods served in Owens Food Court at Owens Hall, D2 at Dietrick Hall, Hokie Grill & Co. at Owens Hall, Turner Place at Lavery Hall, and West End Market. Using this information, we are able to create a database with nutrition information on the hundreds of food items that are served daily on campus. All nutrition information is generated by computer system to analyze each recipe on our menus. This enables us to give you the most accurate information possible. Sometimes recipes change due to changes in products or feedback from our customers. When these changes take place, the nutrition information is updated on the computer system, which immediately updates the web page.  Sometimes business demands require a last-minute substitution.  In the event a recipe needs to change without advanced notice, a sign will be placed at point of service.  Nutrition information will not be available for those temporary substitutions and for questions regarding ingredients/allergens, please ask a staff member in that particular unit. 

How do I download the Hokie Dining app? 
The Hokie Dining App is free to download on Apple and Android platforms.  Be sure you are downloading the correct app by looking for the icon above.  This app is a mirror image of the dining services interactive webpage and displays all the same ingredient, nutrition and allergen information.  You can also utilize the allergen/ingredient filter as well as check the hours of operation.  

I have a food allergy/special dietary need, how do I find foods to meet my needs? 

The online interactive menu webpage as well as the Hokie Dining app will be your best resource.  Through the interactive menu webpage, you can find nutrition facts, ingredient lists, as well as allergen statements.  There is also an allergen/ingredient filter where you can filter out menu items that contain the top 8 allergens, gluten as well as 3 ingredients of your choice.  This filter can assist you with identifying foods that specifically meet your needs.  If you ever have any questions or concerns, please ask to speak to a manager or Chef in the dining center or contact the Registered Dietitians office at yes@vt.edu

How can I identify foods that are vegan and/or vegetarian?

Look for the asterisks! Next to each menu item on the interactive menu webpage, you will see a “*” or “**”.  If the item does not have either a single asterisk or double asterisks, it is neither vegetarian nor vegan.  The single asterisk “*” denotes vegetarian options while the double asterisks “**” denotes vegan offerings.  If you are ever unsure about a menu item please as staff member for further assistance.  

If you don't find the answer you need, contact Dining Services' registered dietitians, at yes@vt.edu.

Nutrition facts and ingredient listings are available on our interactive nutrition page. After choosing a dining location, clicking on any menu item will give you nutrition facts and ingredient listings for that product. On the right hand side, you can select the “Set allergen/ingredient filter”.  This filter will allow you to filter by any of the top 8 allergens, gluten and/or any 3 ingredients of your choice.  This interactive menu webpage is also available in a free downloadable app called Hokie Dining. Visit the Google Play store or App Store, search “Hokie Dining” and look for the correct icon.

Ingredient, nutrition, allergen, and gluten information is obtained directly from statements made by the products' manufacturers. If no allergen or gluten statement is given by the manufacturer, the following criteria were used when creating the database of allergens:

  • FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is used as a reference for potential allergen sources for the top eight allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans).
  • Products containing an oil of one of the top eight allergens (such as soy or peanut oil) are listed as containing that allergen.
  • Coconut and coconut oils are listed as tree nut allergens.
  • If the manufacturer provided a statement about the item being produced on shared equipment or in a facility that also processes other allergens, those allergens are tagged and will show as containing that allergen when using the interactive menu page. Guests should review the full ingredient list in conjunction with the allergen filter to make choices based on individual needs. Please note that many desserts and bread items are made in in our on-campus bakery where items containing most of the top 8 allergens and gluten are also produced.
  • The gluten free serving area in D2 is the only venue that has dedicated preparation and serving equipment free from gluten.  Items not tagged as containing gluten are made without gluten-containing ingredients and care is taken campus-wide to minimize or reduce cross-contact with gluten containing foods, but our kitchens are not certified gluten free.

AllerTrain™, is an ANSI (American National Standard Institute) food allergy and gluten free training course for foodservice professionals. Dining Services currently has over 120 staff members that are Allertrain certified.  Look for the AllerTrain™ logo on staff uniforms to easily identify those that are best equipped to answer your food allergy questions.

If you have a specific nutrition concern or are allergic to any foods and need help finding appropriate foods, you can make an appointment with the registered dietitian for individualized assistance. If you find you have questions while in the dining center, please ask to speak to the chef or manager; they will be able to answer your questions about specific ingredients. For questions, comments, and suggestions regarding nutrition or food-based allergens contact Dining Services Registered Dietitians at yes@vt.edu.

With the Y.E.S. – You’re Eating Smarter Program, Virginia Tech Dining Services is doing its part to keep you and the planet healthy. We've made commitments that will benefit your health and minimize our impact on the environment.

When designing our menus, we strive to provide well-balanced options in all dining centers. Throughout our venues you will find whole grain options, lots of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and protein options. Additionally, we made a commitment to eliminate artificially occurring trans fats where possible. The YES to Go program was created in response to student requests for healthier grab-n-go options. A variety of Y.E.S to go options are available at DXpress at Dietrick Hall, Hokie Grill at Owens Hall and Turner Place at Lavery Hall. All items have less than 600 calories, contain no trans fat, less than 30% of calories from total fat, and many items emphasize whole grains and heart healthy fats. 

As part of our commitment to a healthy planet, we have created the Farms & Fields Project in Owens Food Court at Owens Hall. This venue features sustainable, local, and organic foods. Check out the menus on our menu webpage.

The final component of the program is education. As part of Student Affairs, we are committed to providing learning outside the classroom. The YES program has several components that focus on this mission:

  • Websites (listed below) with reliable nutrition information
  • Table Cards in dining centers focusing on healthy eating topics
  • Educational events in dining centers that promote learning about healthy eating
  • Presentations to student groups
  • Students can talk about meeting their nutritional needs while dining on campus directly with one of Dining Services' Registered Dietitians. For individual questions or to schedule a one-on-one, email yes@vt.edu.

Nutrition Information for Menu Items

You can use our interactive nutrition analysis program to view today's menu and find nutrition information for menu items. Additionally, you can use our allergen/ingredient filter to find menu items that do or do not contain one of the eight most common allergens and up to 3 ingredients of your choice. This information is also available on our Hokie Dining App.

Reliable Nutrition Web Sites

Are you looking for more on a nutrition topic and don't know where to get reliable information? You are not alone. There are many websites that seem to give knowledgable advice, but in reality, they're not a reliable source.

Check out the list below to find reliable information on various nutrition topics.

General Information

  • Center for Nutrition Policy: Click on the MyPlate to receive valuable feedback on your dietary intake and physical activity levels.
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: An informative site with good information on nutrition, exercise, and general health. If you are interested in becoming a nutrition professional, this site is for you!
  • Nutrition.gov: This government website has basic nutrition information that everyone can understand.
  • Schiffert Health Center: You may also visit Virginia Tech’s health center for any questions and problems you may have.
  • Nutrition Services: This is the place to find information about health education programs, health counseling services, wellness services and public health events at Virginia Tech.

Vegetarianism

Special Dietary Needs

Eating Disorders

Sports Nutrition

For questions, comments, and suggestions regarding the YES program contact Dining Services' Registered Dietitians, at yes@vt.edu.

Join us at Our Table, a series of open-forum discussions about nutrition and special dietary needs/preferences centered on food served on campus. We want to hear from you and work together to improve the overall offerings presented through the lens of safe and wholesome foods.

We look forward to seeing you there! If you are unable to make it to any of the in-person sessions, please feel free to email yes@vt.edu with your thoughts, comments, suggestions on any of the above topics. More topics and sessions will be held during the spring semester, so keep your eye out for future details.

Please come to one, or all, sessions being held this fall in the New Hall West Training Room from 4-5 pm on the following dates:

Wednesday, September 25th – General Nutrition & Health Eating

Thursday, October 17th – Vegetarian & Vegan

Wednesday, November 20th – Food Allergies & Intolerances


“Food is essential to life, therefore make it good.” -S. Truett Cathy