In an effort to improve its culinary offerings, Sodexo introduced the mindful eating menu to appease its health-conscious customers.

“The mindful approach is filled with choices, satisfying flavors, full plates and healthy indulgence,” said Casey Slocum, a member of the Sodexo marketing team.

All of the dining halls on campus along with the Chenango Room now have stations offering healthier food choices, accompanied by nutritional information such as calories and grams of fat.

In addition, each dining hall includes a Nourish U Station where students can pick up brochures on ways to stay healthy, including tips for trimming fat and steps to reduce sugar intake. Suggestions on ways to stay in shape throughout the semester include taking hikes in the Nature Preserve and picking your own apples and pumpkins.

Sodexo’s “Mindful Eating” website features wellness tools, such as a BMI calculator and a tool to create a walking route for campus.

Alexa Schmidt, a registered dietitian with Sodexo Campus Services, described the advantages of the recently introduced program.

“Mindful eating has many benefits,” she said. “Filling your plate with healthy food choices is sure to increase energy, concentration, focus, immune function and mood while decreasing risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Sodexo’s Mindful program is based on the latest science and recommendations from leading health organizations.”

Although this program is relatively new and students are not fully aware of its benefits, Slocum said they are gaining traction.

“Some students liked the mindful meals offered at each dining center,” Slocum said, “while other students mentioned how much they like the Mindful Moments [eating tips], as they can easily apply them to their daily routine.”

The initiative encompasses breakfast, lunch and dinner and extends into Night Owl. Every Night Owl introduced more health-conscious choices as alternatives to fried foods from the grill.

Sodexo employee Walter Springer talked about these different options.

“Students can order sandwiches with whole wheat bread. I can cook up some eggs. We also have grilled chicken and salads,” he said.