New group offers ‘wholesome’ dietary advice


Elisabeth Moore

With a hectic schedule of classes, dietary restrictions, and the lure of Chick-fil-A sandwiches, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can seem difficult. That is why a dietitian based group has made it their goal to promote healthy food options at WKU.

Wholesome WKU works with restaurants on campus to create a nutrition program that provides students with basic information on how to make healthier options.

Brandi Breden, a registered dietitian at WKU, is a member as well as one of the founders of Wholesome WKU.

“We were doing all of these presentations around campus and students would still complain how there were no healthy food options or they couldn’t find the healthy meals, so we created the Wholesome at WKU campaign,” Breden said.

Wholesome WKU has partnered with the Student Dietetic Association and Aramark to create more diverse food choices at WKU for students, faculty and staff.

Aramark recently partnered with the American Heart Association and created a plan to “improve the health of all Americans by 20 percent by 2020,” according to the Aramark website.

The detailed plan is to reduce 20 percent of calories, saturated fat and sodium. Additionally, they want to see a 20 percent increase in fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their food.

Breden says this plan has already been reflected at WKU as the Fresh Food Company has reduced their sodium levels by 20 percent.

The Student Dietetic Association also helps Wholesome WKU gain more volunteers. Currently, there are around 20-25 volunteers ranging from grad students to registered dietitians that work for WKU.

Wholesome WKU meets in the Preston Center in a small area dedicated to the Health and Fitness Lab.

Additionally, a majority of their work is dedicated to their social media accounts and to their mobile food cart that displays easy-to-make healthy and nutritional food.

“We just want to teach students how to be healthy,” Breden said. “We want to create an easy way to find the healthy options on campus and then to promote sustainable, nutritious spots on campus.”

Wholesome WKU also does station takeovers at Fresh Food Company. For example, on Food Allergy Awareness Day they provided appropriate cuisine at the Mongolian Station. A previous station takeover consisted of fish tacos with guacamole and chocolate chip cookies made with avocado coincidentally for Avocado Day.

Additionally, Wholesome WKU promotes as “Taste of WKU” day where students are able to sample healthy meal swipe options from various restaurants on campus.

“We are trying to teach people to be more creative because there are plenty of healthy and colorful foods in there, but when you go and look at their plates, students have the same colors,” Breden added.

Reporter Elisabeth Moore can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @emoore938.