National Fire Academy Doing Part to Promote Healthy Foods

Staff, students and visitors who frequent the dining hall on the campus of the National Fire Academy have a number of healthy options.

EMMITSBURG, Md. -- Staff, students and visitors who frequent the dining hall on the campus of the National Fire Academy have a number of healthy options.

A large salad bar with numerous fresh vegetables and greens is available at lunch and dinner.

They also have fresh fruit to pick from at all meals.

"We understand there's a huge push to offer healthy options," said Katie Cowan, manager of the dining hall.

"Our food is trans-fat free," she said, adding that Guest Services -- which operates the dining hall -- made the move a few years ago.

In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, Cowan said the staff usually prepares fish and chicken as well. "We also try to have vegetarian selections. And, we also try to offer steamed vegetables."

Cowan added that she's seen an increase in the number of people who choose to make a salad. Healthy soups also are available as well.

In addition to the regular hamburgers and cheeseburgers, diners can have a turkey or veggie burger.

There's also a selection of things to make sandwiches from turkey, to various meats and salads. Bread choices include multi-grain, whole wheat and oat.

If you're into fried food, you're out of luck. You won't find it here. French fries are fried in trans-fat free oil.

"We're always trying new things here," she said with a laugh. "People like it."

In addition to soft drinks, diners can choose juice, tea, water, milk or coffee.

Cowan said there's also a move to provide more healthy snacks for students attending courses. The staple donuts and cookies will now be sharing tables with granola bars, celery and carrot sticks and bowls of fruit.

The menus are printed a week in advance so staff and students know what's available. Healthy selections are marked with a little red heart.

And, for those who want to indulge just a tad, the dessert station offers a variety of cakes, pies, pudding and the chef's selection of the day like bread pudding or apple crisp.

Cowan said the staff receives compliments for making health options available.

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