The University of Connecticut is voted the best gluten-free program in the country. UCONN established their program in 2002, before celiac disease was so well known. Since the program already had a strong foundation, they've been able to improve upon it to where it's now grown into a model rivaling an all-inclusive resort experience.
They have a gluten-free menu available in all eight dining halls, a Farm to Table restaurant on campus where almost everything is gluten-free, a food court with a variety of gluten-free options and an entirely gluten-free bakery on campus! They also have a central production kitchen that prepares pre-packaged gluten-free sandwiches, salads, and parfaits for all the coffee shops and quick stop convenience stores around campus. On top of all that, they have integrated their own Menu app for students to download and enter their dietary restrictions for filtered results of their safe dining options each day. For more information about the University of Connecticut Gluten-free Dining Program, check out their website at http://dining.uconn.edu/gluten-free-dining/.
The dining program at North Carolina State University takes stock of every small detail you could imagine. By using technology like iPads in each dining hall and daily e-mails to their gluten-free students to list ingredients, they take all the guess work out of choosing items to eat each day. Each student is also assigned an Allergy Ambassador to tour campus with upon arrival. For more information about North Carolina State University's gluten-free dining program, check out their website- https://dining.ncsu.edu/nutrition/#special-dietary-needs.
Additional Gluten-Free Tips for Choosing a College
- Visit https://glutenfreetravelsite.com/glutenfreecollegereviews for reviews of colleges by students. The site also includes universities that have gone through the National Celiac Awareness GREAT Kitchen Program which certifies chefs and food service managers in safe gluten-free food preparation.
- Get in touch with the school's Head of Dining Services and ask about accommodations.
Important Questions to ask
- How long are students required to live on campus? Can exceptions be made for students with dietary restrictions?
- Is specific gluten-free menu available?
- Are GF products available in campus stores and can those purchases be counted as part of meal plan?
- Are you required to pay full price for meal plan?
- Go to dining halls and if possible eat a meal there. Witness firsthand how a gluten-free order is handled.
- Look for separate gluten-free station for toaster and waffle iron.
- Make sure they list ingredients for all items served.
- Talk with cafeteria staff and see how well they answer questions about ingredients and gluten-free preparation.
- See if there is a student gluten-free group on campus you can contact.