DHFS to adopt new ‘Lite Bites’ foods brand

Selah Maya Zighelboim

The Division of Housing and Food Services will begin branding certain healthy foods in the campus markets with a “Lite Bites” logo beginning next semester. 

To receive this logo, foods must have no more than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats, no more than 35 percent of total weight from sugar and added sweeteners, no more than 360 milligrams of sodium, and be less than 250 calories per individual package, DHFS registered dietitian Lindsay Wilson said. Examples of this include some kinds of fruit snacks, protein bars and baked chips. 

“I think it’s very important to be able to easily show students what healthier options are and give them recommendations,” Wilson said. “Being able to highlight those healthier choices does, I think, hopefully help students make a healthier choice when they go into the dining locations.”

According to Wilson, the idea for Lite Bites came out of the Healthy Vending Initiative to put healthier snacks in some of the campus vending machines. The Lite Bites foods in the market will follow the same guidelines as the Lite Bites foods in the vending machines. Currently, there are 10 vending machines on campus that have only these healthy snacks in them, but they do not yet have the Lite Bites logo to designate them. 

Wilson said DHFS are trying to figure out how to implement the Lite Bites brand into the dining halls as well. The Lite Bites logo will eventually replace the Healthy Suggestions logo that currently exists.

DHFS marketing coordinator Kathy Phan said DHFS will launch a campaign to teach students to associate the Lite Bites logo with healthy food choices. The campaign will launch in coordination with other organizations on campus, such as University Health Services and RecSports, when they have the vending machine wrapping material to mark the all-Lite Bites machines. Next week, DHFS will begin surveying students about which foods they want to be sold in the markets that meet the criteria.

“We want to get to a point where they understand that if they see that logo, that is something that is healthy and adheres to certain credentials,” Phan said. 

Biology freshman Bersabeh Asfaw said she is pretty ambivalent about DHFS labeling healthy food options.

“From one to 10, I’m like a six when it comes to eating healthy,” Asfaw said. “I would appreciate the labeling, but I’m not too concerned.”