I have to admit, the salad didn’t excite me.

I heard through the grapevine that RedZone, one of WKU’s many on-campus dining options, had new menu options available this year. I reluctantly agreed to give the sports bar themed restaurant and its new menu a try.

I ate at RedZone a few times last semester, and I was never too impressed. It seemed like everything on their menu (or at least everything that you could get with a meal swipe) was either overly greasy or excessively fried.

It’s not that I am a health fanatic. I love a little unhealthy food sometimes, but RedZone was not exactly not where I wanted to spend my meals.  

Nevertheless, I figured I would give it another try.

As I glanced over the menu, I couldn’t help but notice the WKU Restaurant Group really had done a lot to change it. Some classic options — pancakes, corndogs, chicken tenders, fries — were still available.

But now the menu included hummus and veggies. There was a “grilled” version of the traditional chicken tenders.

And there was a grilled chicken salad.

Brandi Breden, WKU’s registered dietitian, helped facilitate the changes. Part of her job is to suggest and advocate healthier dining options on campus.

“I just kind of looked at it and said, ‘Can we offer grilled and then maybe a vegetable option rather than the fried chicken and French fries,’” Breden said.

Coupled with the new “Wholesome WKU” campaign, Breden’s work is part of an initiative to help students make smart food choices and be more aware of what they are eating.

WKU graduate student and dietetics intern Lisa Mackessy said the importance of eating healthy meals in college is simple.

“It is like a transitional period where you want impressionable young adults to pick up good, forever, life healthy habits,” Mackessy said.

More grilled chicken options don’t solve the woes of vegan Hilltoppers searching for answers. Some students are still struggling with meal plan limitations.

But I ordered and enjoyed a grilled chicken salad with Caesar dressing. And I’m glad that I now can.