Princeton wellness program wins most innovative award 

Friday, Oct 19, 2018
by Melissa Mirota, RDN

Earlier this summer, the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) presented Princeton University Campus Dining with the top award for “2018 Most Innovation Nutrition and Wellness Program.” The annual award recognizes colleges and universities that have implemented a unique and effective wellness or nutrition program during the previous year.

Princeton earned the gold award for a series of culinary demos broadcast on Snapchat.

“It was a very proud moment for us in the areas of health, wellness and innovation,” explains Melissa Mirota, campus wellness dietitian at Princeton University.

In efforts to increase audience reach and appeal to students, Campus Dining partnered with the Princeton University Office of Communications to make a series of Snapchat stories combined with culinary demos and hands-on meal prep. Since these occurred in the fall, stories focused on seasonal apples with recipes that ranged from vegan and vegetarian to sustainably sourced humane meat dishes to cover a wide demographic of diets. 

One story about making quick, simple, nutritious breakfast meals generated 1,860 Snapchat views. Another, a live teaching kitchen where a chef explained how to prepare a simple pork chop with apples, garnered nearly 2,100 views. Participation in the live culinary demos and hands-on meal prep events exceeded 200 students.