Meal Plan and Other Ways to Eat

haveuheard meal plan umd

Burgers and Pizza and Fries…Oh my!

All parents can use a guide to meal plans. at UMD One of the biggest concerns on our minds when sending our students off to college is how will they eat? Will they eat enough? Are they eating healthy? When you think of a college diet oftentimes foods like ramen, delivery pizza, and ice cream come to mind (AKA the dreaded Freshman 15), but that is not always the case anymore. While they do have the option of pizza and ice cream, college campuses offer a variety of options for students that will never have them leaving hungry.

At the University of Maryland, they offer several options for meal plans that fit all different types of students. On-campus there are four different dining halls, various convenience shops, cafes, and food courts that all students can utilize.

Freshman- The Easy way

At UMD, it is required that all first-year students living on-campus have a dining plan to participate in the on-campus living experience. In addition to freshmen, it is also required that you have a dining plan if you live on campus and do not have a private kitchen in your traditional housing room or suite. There are four different dining plans that students can choose from: Premium, Preferred, Base Plus, and Base. If you maintain a kosher diet, contact the Maryland Hillel Center for information on their Platinum Kosher Plan, which may be substituted for a Resident Dining Plan.

The university recommended plan is the Preferred plan which consists of seven-day unlimited access with 300 dining dollars per semester and six guest passes per semester. With all meal plans, you are able to eat at any of the four dining halls, any time of the day, however many times you would like during their hours of operation. Dining halls cater to all of your students’ needs such as allergies, intolerances, and special diets. They have vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher options for those interested.

Dining Dollars

There are going to be times when your student is not in the mood for the dining hall, and a choice they can always utilize is UMD’s dining dollars. Dining dollars are special funds that allow you to make purchases at several different locations on campus. Places you can use your dining dollars are the on-campus convenience shops, cafes, and some of the brand franchises that are in the food courts. The good thing about dining dollars is that you buy them at a discount, or they can be included in your students’ residential dining plan. In addition to food, you are able to buy supplies and other treats with dining dollars at the convenience shops. They have everything from hand sanitizer and notebooks to milkshakes and fresh fruit

More Options

If your student is not feeling the dining hall or other on-campus options, there is always the option of having food delivered to their dorm. There are so many app services that allow you to choose from various local restaurants and they will pick up the food and deliver it at your convenience.

The most common apps to use are UberEATS, DoorDash, and Postmates. Another service that is heavily promoted around campus is the app goPuff. This app is just like other delivery apps, but they deliver snacks, drinks, frozen items, home essentials, and more. This is a great app for students when they don’t have the chance to get a couple of snacks or personal items that they need.

A Different Type of University Meal Plan

There is a whole new type of meal service that is becoming popular with students who haven’t cooked before and don’t want to buy groceries but still want healthy meals and mom-style instruction.  I bet you’ve already been introduced to this meal kit industry at home. The premise is that the company provides pre-portioned, packaged meals that are delivered weekly to your student’s door. Check out our blog on A College Student’s Guide to Meal Kits. You’ll hear from our interns, who ate well while testing many of the meal kit companies.

Of course, you can always end up sending them some of your home-cooked meals. But take your well-earned break first. Let them work up a taste for home!

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2020-09-04T23:07:19-04:000 Comments

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