Meet the Dietitian

Brianna Watson, MS, RDN, CDNOur on-campus Dietitian, Brianna Watson, MS, RDN, CDN, brings her passion for nutrition and wellness to assist students with finding nutritious and delicious food on campus. Brianna is available for complimentary consultations on topics such as

  • Nutritional assessments
  • Food allergies, celiac disease, diabetes, or other special dietary needs 
  • Eating healthy on campus
  • Special dietary accommodations, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, halal, and kosher
  • Medical nutritional counseling
  • Weight management 
  • Campus Presentations
  • Sports Nutrition
Feel free to contact Brianna with any questions or to set up an appointment at nutritionalservices@albany.edu.

Weekly Smoothie Recipe: February 19 - 23

Location: Indigenous and State Quad

Orange Banana Green Smoothie

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1 cup of spinach

Simple Servings is an allergy-friendly station located in both Indigenous and State Dining Rooms. Simple Servings' plain and simple wellness-promoting foods also appeal to guests who are focused on ingredients and/or portion sizes for weight control, blood sugar control or other health reasons. All foods served at Simple Servings are prepared exclusively with ingredients which do not contain the following food allergens:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts
  • Sesame

The staff responsible for preparing and serving the food at Simple Servings use designated purple equipment and prep areas. All managers, executive chefs, dietitians, and station-specific cooks have received extensive allergy training and are certified under AllerTrain. The station offers a protein, vegetable, and starch option for each meal, and it is open during lunch, dinner, and late-night meal periods.

Please note that foods prepared for Simple Servings do not contain gluten. However, foods are prepared in a facility which uses these ingredients in the production of other dishes. Although we take measures to ensure against this, the possibility of cross contact does exist.

Indigenous and State Dining Rooms both offer gluten-free friendly stations including gluten-free breads, cereals, and more. Both dining rooms also features a gluten-free friendly salad bar. Students looking for a gluten-free meal can do so at Simple Servings, located in both State and Indigenous Dining Rooms. 

Additionally, each dining room accepts gluten-free product requests, including bread, wraps, pasta, buns, and rolls. To make a request, please contact nutritionalservices@albany.edu.

The dining staff undergo allergy training twice a year, which includes handling gluten-free diets. 

Indigenous Quad also offers MyZone, a gluten-free area reserved for students with food allergies and other dietary needs. My Zone acts as a self-service pantry for students to be involved in their own allergen-safe meal preparation. This area is equipped with a designated microwave, refrigerator, toaster, and allergen-free prep surfaces. This room is stocked weekly with items such as bread, rolls, bagels, muffins, waffles, pizza, burritos, frozen meals, rice cakes, dry cereal, pretzels, and soup. To get access to this key-card-access-only area, contact nutritionalservices@albany.edu.

Similarly, at the State Quad dining hall, there is a separate gluten-free area with a stocked fridge containing gluten-free options. 

For students looking for halal-certified food, there are retail dining options available, including Halal Shack, Baba's Pizza, and Jamal's Chicken.  

Additionally, frozen certified halal meals can be purchased at 518 Market. (Please note: Students on a meal plan should use Munch Money, Podium, or a credit/debit card when purchasing items from 518 Market, as there is no discount when using Discount Dollars.)

Many students looking for halal dining options gravitate towards our on-campus vegetarian/vegan dining options. Both Indigenous and State Quad Dining Rooms offer halal chicken upon request, with a preparation time of approximately 20-30 minutes.


 

Students have the option to opt into a Kosher meal plan without any additional charges. They will receive an order form twice a week to select the days they would like to receive a lunch and dinner. The meals are prepared and provided by the Kosher Kitchen at Price Chopper, with a menu provided. 

Additionally, students can choose to eat meals at Shabbos House, and frozen certified Kosher meals are available for purchase in 518 Market as separate options from meal plans.

Both dining rooms offer a plant-based station that serves vegan and vegetarian options. The station provides separate lunch and dinner menus, offering a variety of choices. 

In addition to the plant-based station, there is a sub/wrap station where vegan and vegetarian sandwiches can be made upon request or students can create their own veggie wrap with hummus from the salad bar. The salad bar is open throughout the day and offers lettuce, various vegetable toppings, eggs, hummus with pita, dry tuna, and a selection of fruits and yogurts. There is a vegetarian or vegan soup available daily, and the grill station can provide garden or black bean burgers upon request. 

Breakfast options include cold and hot cereal, a smoothie bar, waffles, scrambled and hard boiled eggs, and tofu scramble available upon request. Both dining rooms have soy and almond milk options, with State Quad offering a machine for almond and soy milk accessibility, and Indigenous Quad having a soy milk machine with almond milk available upon request. 

Additionally, vegetarian and vegan offerings are also available at our retail locations.

To assure your dietary needs are effectively met while dining on campus, please schedule a meeting with the campus dietitian, Brianna Watson, to develop a written plan that meets your dietary needs. 

Before placing your order, please inform a dining staff member if you or a person in your party has a food allergy. If you have dietary questions, please ask to speak directly with a manager. Retail dining allergen information can be found online or at each physical location. Allergen information is also available at each serving station in the resident dining halls. 

Note: Retail dining menu items are prepared in a facility which uses the above ingredients in the production of other dishes. Although we take measures to ensure against this, the possibility of cross contact does exist.