Food and Nutrition

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Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean and plant-based proteins, and healthy fats not only promotes overall good health and weight control but also provides you with essential nutrients that can keep you energized throughout the day.

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Office of Work/Life Resources

The Office of Work/Life develops and offers programs and initiatives designed to help you eat a healthful diet- one that focuses on foods and beverages that promote health and prevent chronic disease.

The Nutrition Academic Advisory Committee is currently in development of a Columbia Recommended Food and Beverage Standard to meet the following high level goal:

Towards building a culture of health, foster the wellness of the Columbia community by:

  • Providing access to healthful and sustainable food and beverages and
  • Strengthening food and beverage environments where the affordable, informed, and convenient choice is the healthy choice.

In alignment with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 and the Healthy People 2020 Nutrition and Weight Status Objectives, the Columbia Recommended Food and Beverage Standard includes food and nutrition guidance that supports a healthier eating pattern for the Columbia community, by offering:

  • A variety of fruit and vegetable options
  • Plant-based proteins
  • Freely available drinking water

The Office of Work/Life has also convened the Food and Nutrition Working Group, a group of Columbia administrators who contract with and/or oversee food operations provided to the Columbia community. With continued support from local and national health agencies, the Office of Work/Life, together with the Nutrition Academic Advisory Committee and the Food and Nutrition Working Group, will work towards supporting the implementation of the Columbia Recommended Food and Beverage Standard in various university food environments (i.e., meetings & events, vending, dining) over the coming years.

The EAT 5 Initiative is designed to help you integrate more fruits and vegetables into your diet and get you closer to reaching the goal of eating five cups per day. Eating 5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily provides nutrients vital for the health and maintenance of the body, may protect against chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and can promote an overall healthy weight.   

The EAT 5 Nutrition Program offers a series of nutrition workshops designed to help participants increase fruits and vegetable intake to get closer to reaching the goal of eating five cups per day. Each workshop offers an interactive nutrition discussion, food demonstration with tasty samples, take home recipes, and more. Sessions are available to individual departments and schools or buildings within the university.

To learn more or schedule a session, email

Columbia University Resources

Columbia University Resources

Besides our own programs and initiatives, you can also get involved with these other Columbia programs and resources.

Columbia Green Market and Fort Washington Green Market
GrowNYC ‘s farmers markets are available at two campus locations, offering fresh, healthy, and local food to the Columbia community.

I Love NY Water is a campaign that promotes the benefits of drinking New York tap water and creates awareness of the environmental impact and costs associated with disposable, bottled water.  Download a map of available bottle refill stations on the CUMC campus.

The Columbia Community Partnership for Health, part of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Transitional Research, is partnering with the Corbin Hill Food Project to bring weekly, flexible subscription-based produce shares distributed at locations throughout New York City, including Washington Heights.  Sign up at Corbin Hill Food Project.  

Find a number of Columbia Dining resources including a Healthy Eating Guide and tools to help you eat healthier both on and off campus.

Wellness Coaching is a healthy lifestyle program available to Columbia University medical plan participants and dependents at no additional cost. Work with a wellness coach telephonically with additional web-based support to help you eat better, move more, and lose weight.  

To learn more or to enroll, call United Healthcare at 800-232-9357.

RALLY is an engaging digital health experience that starts with a quick health survey to measure your overall health and then recommends simple activities to help improve your diet, fitness, and mood. 

Rally is available through or visit .

For more information or to learn if you are eligible, call United Healthcare at 800-232-9357.

Columbia University employees and dependents covered under the university’s medical plan may be eligible for coverage for nutrition counseling with a Registered Dietitian.

For more information or to learn if you are eligible, call United Healthcare at 800-232-9357.

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External Resources

Looking for more? Here are resources outside of Columbia.