Menus of Change Initiative


To create a dynamic, invitational network of leading university based-scholars, foodservice business leaders and executive chefs to collaborate on research and education in support of culinary-centric, evidenced-based food systems innovation within and beyond universities.

This initiatives leverages the unique position of universities to advance healthier, more sustainable life-long food choices among students-who will soon be parents and adult decision-makers by connecting a diversity of insights from academic programs and dining services.  In 2012, The Culinary Institute if America (CIA) and Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)-Department of Nutrition launched Menus of Change. By embracing the 24 principles and implementing them over time centered around Menu Concepts and General Operations and Food and Ingredients our goal is to migrate guest’s appetite towards healthy, sustainable choices. UNH Dining is one of 37 university dining programs to join the Menus of Change initiative and is an active member on a number of work groups driving this initiative nationwide.  

The Principals of Healthy, Sustainable Menus: Be transparent about sourcing and preparation, Buy fresh and seasonal, local and global, Reward better agricultural practices, Leverage globally inspired, plant-based culinary strategies, Focus on whole, minimally processed foods, Grow everyday options while honoring special occasion traditions, Celebrate cultural diversity & discovery, Lead with menu messaging around flavor, Reduce portions, emphasizing calorie quality over quantity, Design health and sustainability into operations and dining spaces, Make whole, intact grains the new norm, Limit potatoes, Move legumes and nuts to the center of the plate, Choose healthier oils, Re-imagine dairy in a supporting role, Go "good fat", not "low fat", Serve more kinds of seafood more often, Use poultry and eggs in moderation, Reduce added sugar, Serve less red meat, less often, Cut the salt, Re-think flavor development from the ground up, Substantially reduce sugary beverages, innovate replacements, Drink healthy: From water, coffee, and tea to, with caveats, beverage alcohol.For more information visit;