Many students in the UR community have a variety of special dining needs, including those with gluten-free lifestyles. UR’s Dining Services have made special provisions to make gluten-free options available to students who must follow this gluten-free diet, whether because of a medical need or simply as a lifestyle choice. Hillside Market in particular has expanded its selection of gluten-free options considerably in the past few months to accommodate these students, a helpful move for many.
Brands such as Larabar, which produces many meal and snack bars, and Gluten Free Café, which makes soups and other items, offer students a wide range of products that they can eat, aside from staple options such as yogurt and salad. This is a good first step in accommodating the many dietary needs of students on campus.
Hillside is a good venue in which to provide students with these gluten-free items because there is no need to worry about cross contamination. No cooking occurs at Hillside, which means that there is no concern about potentially mixing items containing flour or wheat with gluten-free items, unlike at dining halls on campus.
Gluten-free students now have access to cookies, pasta and other popular items that make cooking and eating more enjoyable. These products may help many students feel less alienated with their gluten-free lifestyle, allowing them to eat foods similar to their gluten-consuming peers.
The widened selection of gluten-free items at Hillside Market is commendable in that it makes dining easier for students with these dietary needs. Students also no longer have to worry about running out of gluten-free foods from outside grocery stores and wondering how they will cook for themselves for the rest of the week.
Hillside’s assortment of gluten-free items nullifies those concerns and allows students to spend their pre-paid dining plans on foods they can actually eat. Many gluten-free products can be costly, so providing them at Hillside and being able to purchase them with declining is an appealing option for students. The increased selection of gluten-free foods at Hillside Market is a considerable improvement and has considerably enhanced students’ gluten-free dining options.