Special Dietary Needs

Resources for Students with Special Dietary Restrictions

Do you have food allergies? Need gluten-free items?

We are here to help! When you purchase your meal plan, you automatically get access to University Housing Dining Services resources, including our on-staff dietitian. We will work with you to make sure the choices you need are available.

If you have special dietary needs, your first step is to contact our Dining Services Dietitian at nutrition@housing.illinois.edu.  The dietitian will meet with you to individually manage your nutritional needs. You can also meet with Dining Chefs and Managers to individualize your meal plan.

Guide to Managing Special Diets in the Dining Halls

Special diets guide thumbnail image We look forward to helping you manage your meals in the dining halls.

Please carefully read our guide for students with special dietary restrictions. (pdf)

Vegetarian and Vegan Options on Dining Services

Do you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet? We are here to help you find choices that are both tasty and nutritious. In every dining hall, vegetarian entrees and sides are provided at every meal, no exceptions. Our lunchtime vegetarian specialty restaurant, Field of Greens, and Wednesday dinner option, Leafy!, serve a bounty of vegan and vegetarian dishes. The newly opened Ikenberry Dining Hall has a vegan serving station, Soy-Tainly.

Get Informed!

You can stay informed on vegetarian and vegan offerings by using these tools to look up menu items' nutrition information:

Vegan and vegetarian artwork

Vegan Corner

Every dining hall has a Vegan Corner with products such as:

  • Nutritional yeast and liquid amino acids
  • Raw seeds and nuts
  • Non-dairy milk and soy butter spread
  • Vegan meat substitutes
  • Vegan mayonnaise
  • Soy cheese and soy cream cheese

Dietitian Consultation

Do you have concerns about maintaining a well- balanced vegetarian/vegan diet in the halls? The Dining Services Registered Dietitian is available to answer questions and give guidance for meal plan holders.

Guide to Eating Vegetarian/Vegan in the Dining Halls 

Vegetarian and Vegan Diet guide thumbnail image

Read our guide to get detailed information on how to find vegetarian-friendly dishes in the halls, and see what products and services we offer.

Download a PDF of the guide

Kosher Meals

Kosher meals are served in Allen Hall Dining Room, in the Lincoln Avenue Residence Halls (LAR), 1005 W. Gregory, Urbana, Sunday – Thursday from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. during the academic year while the dining halls are in operation. In addition, Kosher shelf-stable or frozen meals are available upon request in all dining halls. Kosher shelf-stable meals as well as other kosher products are available for purchase in the al a carte locations 57 North in Ikenberry, Chomps at Illinois Street (ISR), and Penn Station in Pennsylvania Avenue (PAR). Packaged kosher meals that were prepared in the Kosher Kitchen are also available for purchase in the Illini Union Ballroom. 

For more information on the availability of Kosher meals in the area please visit:

Passover

The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring. Kosher meal preparations procedures are much stricter during Passover. The Chicago Rabbinical Council determines who can prepare meals during Passover for the Champaign-Urbana area. The University of Illinois Dining Services and other local kosher operations in the area are not given permission to prepare kosher meals during Passover. All dining halls will offer a variety of traditional Passover food items to assist with the observance of this holiday. Choices may include matzo ball soup, matzo crackers, grape juice, desserts, and other Passover food items.

Residents with a meal plan who choose not to dine with Dining Services during Passover must  email their request to housing@illinois.edu to be reimbursed  for meals missed. Based on the student’s meal plan, meals will be reimbursed the raw food cost of the meals missed during Passover. The raw food cost credit amount is $2.28 per breakfast, $2.44 per lunch, and $3.45 per dinner. Residents requesting this credit option should see the raw food cost credit posted on their Student Account Receivable (SAR) statement/e-bill. Students on the 6 Classic meal plan will receive a maximum of 6 dinner credits.

Ramadan Meal Options

Residents who email their request to housing@illinois.edu may be reimbursed for the raw food cost of lunch and dinner meals missed during Ramadan. It is the student's responsibility to track their meal plan and not eat from sunrise to sunset. The raw food cost credit amount is $2.44 per lunch and $3.45 per dinner. Assuming a student does not eat lunch or dinner meals during Ramadan, they will receive a maximum of 7 lunch and 7 dinner credits per week during each week of Ramadan. Residents requesting this credit option should see the raw food cost credit posted on their Student Account Receivable (SAR) statement/e-bill. Students on the 6 Classic plan will receive a maximum of 6 dinner credits.

Residents observing Ramadan may elect to prepare sack meals for breakfast and/or lunch instead of a food-cost reimbursement. To do so, please notify a supervisor as you enter the dining room. Your ID number will be entered into the access system to deduct your carry-out meal from your meal plan.

One container will be provided for cold food items and one container will be provided for hot food items. To-go meals taken by students who observe Ramadan are the student's responsibility to hold the meal according to food safety guidelines. To safely hold food, it is to be at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below or at 165 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

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