Dietary Dilemmas

UON food choices

Isabella Batkovic explores the food choices, or lack thereof, at UON

The University of Newcastle offers a wide range of cafes, bars and eateries, such as:

  • Bar on the Hill
  • Gloria Jeans (caffeine or GTFO)
  • Delish
  • Noodle Bar (Miso hungry!)
  • Subway
  • Uni Bakehouse (pastry heaven)
  • Mamadukes
  • Blue Gum Cafe
  • Godfrey Tanner Bar; and who could forget the one, the only,
  • Pinkies (lollies for days)


In my own group of uni friends, there is a vegetarian, a coeliac, a vegan and a diabetic. I’m sure there are many other students and staff with special dietary requirements floating around campus. With this in mind, I struggled to think of places that cater to these unique nutritional needs and lifestyle choices.

For example, my diabetic friend, arriving late to campus last week, raced to one of the aforementioned eateries and frantically purchased a food item under the title ‘healthy breakfast’ before coming to class. When she sat down and opened her breakfast box, it contained a slice of thick raisin toast with powdered sugar covering the surface. The recommended daily intake of sugar for females is 25 grams, and one slice of raisin toast contains approximately 16.9 grams, more than half the suggested amount. For somebody who needs to watch her sugar intake, this was not a suitable meal. She went on to angrily explain that the University does not have REAL healthy food choices, and many of the “cleaner” options do not seem to use fresh ingredients.

Remembering the small amount of gluggy Caesar salad packet sauce I was pouring over my lunch (that included questionably grey chicken pieces) just last week, I had to agree with my diabetic friend here. With such a wide variety of dietary requirements at play even within my own small circle of friends, it is overwhelming to think how many other students have similar preferences or needs, indicating that the University of Newcastle may not in fact have something for everyone.

With so many men and women trying to live healthy lifestyles as it is, a good old quinoa salad or acai bowl wouldn’t go astray.

So have your say in the comments; does the University of Newcastle need to offer a wider range of food choices?

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