NetNutrition: A Helpful Tool to Navigate CMU Dining Halls

Story by Ashley Schafer
Photos by Anne Langan

Think back to the first time you ever walked into one of Central Michigan University’s dining halls. Perhaps it was during orientation or even just a few short weeks ago. Chances are it was a bit of an overwhelming experience. With food around every corner, it’s easy to overeat.

What many don’t realize, however, is that CMU utilizes a program called NetNutrition that can save you from getting lost in the options. It tells you the menu for the each dining hall on any given day, and breaks the meals down based on nutritional and caloric levels, so you know what you’re eating.


NetNutrition makes navigating CMU’s cafeterias so much easier.055a1719

You can access NetNutrition on your laptop or phone, where it gives you the option to choose any of the dining halls or food locations on campus, including Real Food on Campus (RFoC), Robinson Restaurant, Fresh Food Company, Java City Coffeehouse, Merrill Restaurant, Down Under Food Court (DUFC) and d’LISH @ the Market.

Once a location is selected, you are able to pick the day and meal time which suits you. You can browse each food station and what it offers with just the click of a button.055a1764

Here is where it becomes a tool for you – by clicking the check box next to each food item of your choice, NetNutriton will compile one large nutritional fact sheet. This is especially useful for watching calories and daily intake of nutrients. Ultimately, by staying aware of these facts, you can avoid gaining unwanted weight or in other words, the “Freshman 15.”055a1750

Do food allergies, sensitivities or preferences make it hard for you to dine on campus?

NetNutrition gives you the option to exclude foods that can be potentially harmful. This program can help make it easy to find meals that meet your specific needs.055a1746

So, What Do I Eat?
To provide you with some context of correctly portioned meals, here’s what 500 calories looks like in the dining halls using the NetNutrition site:

  • Honey barbecued salmon accompanied by sweet potato hash, steamed broccoli, and a dollop of tartar sauce – 482 calories
  • Ribs from the American Diner, ranch potato wedges and cantaloupe – 503 calories
  • Half of a ham and cheddar sandwich, corn chowder with crackers, and a chocolate ice cream soft serve in a cone – 503 calories
  • A salad with romaine lettuce, cheddar cheese, cucumber slices, shredded carrots, sliced chicken breast, red peppers, grape tomatoes and ranch dressing with a slice of cheese pizza – 508 calories
  • If you’re craving carbs, a plate of cheese tortellini and an Asiago roll – 503 calories055a1737

Next time you find yourself worrying about what you’re eating, pull up NetNutrition and plan out your meals – it will make all the difference.055a1717