We all know that dining hall food can be a little bit of a crapshoot in terms of quality (especially if you’re going somewhere as risky as Whitney). However, that does not mean we cannot be creative and have fun with food at college. Here are four ways UConn students can spice up their everyday meals.

1. Condiments – use them.

Dining Hall

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UConn provides a salt shaker and a pepper shaker for each table. With a little bit of searching you’ll find red pepper flakes, mayo, honey mustard, and anything your heart desires in the dining hall. Use them! Spice up your tasteless morning scrambled eggs with a dash of Sriracha. Not only will this improve the taste of your first meal of the day, but also it’ll give the perfect amount of heat that will wake up both you and your taste buds.

2. The Toaster – Locate it.

Dining Hall

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In my opinion, one of the most important parts of eating is having food that’s the right temperature. Toasting the bread before you make your sandwich will add an elegant crunch to your turkey grinder and give it satisfying warmth. The McMahon dining hall will toast things for you if you ask, but in other dining halls you’re going to need to take matters into your own hands and find that toaster. It will taste more like something you ordered at a restaurant than something you hastily made before class.

3. Fruits and Vegetables – Utilize them.

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Most dining halls afford you the luxury of a fruit and salad bar. Don’t limit the uses of this dining hall component. Add a little color and flavor to your ice water – infuse it with fruit/vegetables. If you haven’t already noticed the infused waters in South and McMahon, try them out and realize just how much you need to bring in a water bottle and make your own. A personal favorite of mine is cucumber water. Cucumbers contain silica, which is a mineral that helps to keep your muscles healthy. This is just what college students need as they’re busily speed walking from class to class. In addition, you’ll be sure to get in your recommended eight glasses of water a day.

4. Don’t forget about presentation

Dining Hall

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Although presentation may not directly represent quality of food, it shows that you care. Eating is much more enjoyable when you’re excited about the plate in front of you. On those days when none of the 8 dining halls are doing it for you, and you just want to make yourself a sandwich, get a little fancy! Garnish your plate, drizzle your dressing, and make the food so “Instagrammable” that you can’t wait to eat it!