University Dining Services want students to eat at the bar.

A new University of Nebraska–Lincoln program is bringing a “fuel station bar” of healthy options to a different dining hall each Tuesday for lunch and occasionally dinner. The bar will feature healthy options that can already be found in dining halls placed together for convenience and ease.

The first fuel station bar was held Feb. 18 at Abel Dining Hall. It featured fruit salad with oranges and kiwi, apple cider chicken breast and baked lemon pollock. The next bar is scheduled for Tuesday at Selleck Dining Hall during lunch and dinner hours.

“Students really liked the idea of having (healthy options) in one area,” said Pam Edwards, assistant director of Dining Services. “It was awareness building as well, that this is something that we have all the time, but looking at it differently.”

The idea of this service is to promote healthy options to students, all in one convenient area. The fuel station bar program stems from the Fuel Your Story program, which began fall semester.

“The essence of (Fuel Your Story) is learning to use MyPlate,” Edwards said.

MyPlate is a government program that encourages people to follow healthy eating guides for the five food groups. Lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy are included in the MyPlate guide to a healthy diet.

The fuel station bars include recipes for its featured dishes. Also at the stations, students can find cards to fill out, listing information about their knowledge of the Fuel Your Story campaign, their favorite menu item from the bar and their general contact information.

Students who complete these cards are entered in a raffle to win a Fuel Your Story T-shirt. The dining halls are also marking healthy items daily in the dining halls to help influence students meal choices.

The foods provided in the bars on Tuesdays are no added cost to the university because they are configured into the budget. Not to mention, most of the items included in the bars are recipes that have been served before or are on regular rotation.

“These are established recipes that have been out in the system, but we’re just promoting them a little bit differently,” Edwards said.

Not only are the foods budget-friendly, but they’re convenient for dining hall staff to provide as well.

“There are a limited few items that take longer to prepare, but overall it doesn’t take much more for us to provide it,” said Adam Theesen-Fenton, a senior environmental studies major and dining service associate.

Students can find more information about the fuel station bars through posters located in UNL dining halls or by following UNL Dining Services (@UNLDining) on Twitter.

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