You are here

Nutrition & Dietary Preferences

HUDS’ nutrition standards are based on the recommendations of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. We model our menu on the Healthy Eating Food Plate, and emphasize such cornerstones as lean proteins, fresh vegetables, beans and whole grains, and healthy fats. To learn more, visit the HSPH Nutrition Source.

Our online menu allows you to view a nutritional analysis for every item we serve.

To ensure you the freshest products, and to actively support regional industries, HUDS buys locally whenever possible. In addition, we consider the environmental impact of our operations and make every effort to reduce our water and energy use. Every undergraduate dining hall is Certified Green Restaurant. Learn more about HUDS efforts here.

Vegetarian & Vegan

Our menu includes selections at every meal and at every station for vegetarian and vegan diners, including soups, entrees, deli selections, and pasta sauces. Menu items are marked in the online menu and on menu cards to make your dining selections easier. 

A Note About Frying Oil: Fried foods such as French fries may be cooked in fryer oil that previously served to prepare fish or chicken. Whenever possible our vegetarian entree dishes are not fried, but please be advised that any food that is fried may have been commingled with animal proteins.


The Healthy Eating Plate

Visit the HSPH Nutrition Source Website for comprehensive nutriton information and resources:

The following information regarding the Healthy Eating Plate is excerpted from the HSPH Nutrition Source website:

The Healthy Eating Plate, created by nutrition experts at Harvard School of Public Health and editors at Harvard Health Publications, was designed to address deficiencies in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s MyPlate. The Healthy Eating Plate provides detailed guidance, in a simple format, to help people make the best eating choices.

Use The Healthy Eating Plate as a guide for creating healthy, balanced meals—whether served on a plate or packed in a lunch box. Put a copy on the refrigerator as a daily reminder to create healthy, balanced meals!


Make most of your meal:

Vegetables and fruits – ½ of your plate

  • Aim for color and variety, and remember that potatoes don’t count as vegetables on the Healthy Eating Plate because of their negative impact on blood sugar.
  • Go for whole grains – ¼ of your plate:

Whole and intact grains

  • whole wheat, barley, wheat berries, quinoa, oats, brown rice, and foods made with them, such as whole wheat pasta—have a milder effect on blood sugar and insulin than white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.

Protein power – ¼ of your plate:

  • Fish, chicken, beans, and nuts are all healthy, versatile protein sources—they can be mixed into salads, and pair well with vegetables on a plate. Limit red meat, and avoid processed meats such as bacon and sausage.

Healthy plant oils – in moderation:

  • Choose healthy vegetable oils like olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut, and others, and avoid partially hydrogenated oils, which contain unhealthy trans fats. Remember that low-fat does not mean “healthy.”

Drink water, coffee, or tea:

  • Skip sugary drinks, limit milk and dairy products to one to two servings per day, and limit juice to a small glass per day.

Stay active:

  • The red figure running across the Healthy Eating Plate’s placemat is a reminder that staying active is also important in weight control.

The main message of the Healthy Eating Plate is to focus on diet quality.

The type of carbohydrate in the diet is more important than the amount of carbohydrate in the diet, because some sources of carbohydrate—like vegetables (other than potatoes), fruits, whole grains, and beans—are healthier than others.

The Healthy Eating Plate also advises consumers to avoid sugary beverages, a major source of calories—usually with little nutritional value—in the American diet.

The Healthy Eating Plate encourages consumers to use healthy oils, and it does not set a maximum on the percentage of calories people should get each day from healthy sources of fat. In this way, the Healthy Eating Plate recommends the opposite of the low-fat message promoted for decades by the USDA.