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Special Diets

Do you have a special dietary need and are concerned about the transition to the campus dining program? Well at William & Mary, we recognize that each person’s diet is considered special.

For some students, however, special dietary requirements go beyond balancing the guilty pleasures with healthy choices, but instead are necessary to remain healthy and safe. Whether a student is following a special diet for medical reasons or he/she just wants to stay healthy in college, the dining halls have a variety of choices to help keep a student healthy, safe and satisfied. W&M’s Campus Dietitian and Executive Chefs can help you plan your meals to meet your special dietary needs.

18_0321_truebalance_logo.jpgSadler and Commons offer True Balance, an entire station dedicated to serving foods without the top 9 allergies and gluten. Regardless of food allergy or sensitivity, all students should be able to enjoy their favorite dishes, from Macaroni and Cheese to Indian cuisine to Avocado Toast.

At Sadler, True Balance is located in the Annex to allow for isolated food preparation, storage, and serving. In Commons, True Balance is at the entrance of the dining hall and provides expanded offerings, including hot entrees and made to-order options.

Both dining halls provide a Worry-Free Zone, a designated area for students avoiding gluten which will offer waffles, packaged bread products, muffins, and cereals. Also located at the Worry-Free Zone is a microwave and toaster dedicated to gluten-free products. Dairy-free alternatives to milk can also be found in this area.

True Balance will feature a 5-week menu cycle that ensures the menus are inclusive, balanced, and feature plenty of student favorites based on feedback and trends. Aramark has strategically partnered with MenuTrinfo® and the registered dietitian provides ANAB-accredited allergy training (AllerTrain®) to employees dedicated to the station. 

For every meal period, there will always be a variety of options for those with Celiac, including:

  • Rice, quinoa, or other naturally gluten-free grain
  • Gluten-free lunch meat
  • Gluten-free bread and pasta
  • Cereal
  • Salad dressings
  • Vegetable, chicken, and beef broth

All residential recipes omit tree nuts and peanuts, except for a few vegan offerings that may contain coconut.

Every semester and the weeks throughout, the chefs, managers, and dietitian address food allergies/intolerances and the techniques of reducing cross-contact. Employees are trained on proper food handling and cleaning procedures (using separate cutting boards for different food items, cleaning hands and surfaces often, wearing gloves at all times, etc.)

How do I know what foods contain food allergens and/or gluten? will be your source of information for menus, nutritional information, ingredients, and allergens. Users can filter by dietary preferences and food allergies. Menu items also feature the eligible designations listed below.

eatwell.jpg Eat Well selections make up over 30% of menu items on residential dining menus. These selections contain nutritionally dense whole foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, beans, lean protein) and are lower in calories, saturated fat, and sodium.
plantforward.jpg Plant-Forward selections feature a style of cooking and eating that emphasizes healthy plants at the center of the plate with a proportionally small quantity of animal protein. 
vegetarian.jpg Vegetarian and Vegan selections now make up over 30% of our menus. Our culinary team and dietitians assure that vegetarian selections contain no meat, fish, poultry, or gelatin.
vegan.jpg Vegan selections contain no animal products, dairy, eggs, or honey.
wholegrains.jpg Made with Whole Grains selections comprise over 15% of menu items on dining menus through the semester.
Vegan/ Vegetarian  

Vegan stations at both Commons and Sadler offer wholesome recipes prepared with plant-based ingredients. Here, students can also find Coolfoods menu items, which consist of ingredients and preparation methods that make minimal impact on our climate. Whether students follow a full-time vegan diet or not, it is the goal to provide fulfilling, nutritional and exciting menu options that appeal to all students.

Veggie burgers, vegan cheese, and other vegetarian entrees are integrated throughout the menus in dining halls. Additionally, there are a number of retail concepts offering vegan and vegetarian options.


As a standard operation, Commons and Sadler will both serve locally sourced organic chicken from 4P Foods that is halal-certified.

What do I need to do if I have a medically restrictive diet and I’m concerned about transitioning to the campus dining program?

Most medically restrictive diets can be accommodated in the dining hall. To determine if W&M Dining Services is able to meet a student’s dietary needs, the student must:

  1. Contact Becky Vick the Campus Dietitian at to schedule an appointment to discuss the dietary needs and what accommodations can be made.
  2. Register with Student Accessibility Services. Students who may need on-campus housing accommodations relating to their medically-restrictive diet should contact and register with Student Accessibility Services at Dean of Students Office, Campus Center 107, P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187. Phone: (757) 221-2509, Fax: (757) 221-2538.

For more information about the Special Diets program with William & Mary Dining, contact Becky Vick at

Updated June 22, 2023