Hospital food has a bad reputation, but some of it actually looks pretty good.
From upscale penthouse suites to a coffee-crusted prime rib at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, hospitals are getting creative with the foods they serve their patients.
Most hospital menus don’t offer much variety in terms of food options, but some hospitals are making a big effort to change that. In a recent study, researchers surveyed a number of health departments and found that hospitals are stepping up their game in terms of offering nutritious meals to their patients.
One way hospitals are improving their menus is by adding more fresh produce. Fruit, vegetables, and whole grains are great staples to keep on hand. They can be incorporated into sandwiches, salads, and even side dishes.
Adding in fresh fruits and vegetables to every meal can make a huge difference in the nutrition of a patient’s diet. This can help them avoid obesity and other chronic illnesses, which are more common among people who don’t eat healthy.
Another option is to introduce more meatless options, which can be a great alternative for people who aren’t able to eat animal products. These options are often less expensive, and they can be easy to prepare at home.
These meals also help to encourage the idea that eating well can be part of a normal, everyday life. This can help to prevent readmissions after a hospital stay and improve the overall health of the population.
Many hospitals are taking this to the next level, by partnering with nutritionists and classically trained chefs to slim down dishes and revamp their cafeterias. They’re offering a wide range of healthier, more appealing options, from hi-tech ordering systems to a local organic menu at Fauquier Hospital.
Aside from making patients feel more at home, the better food served in hospitals teaches them about what good nutrition is and how it benefits their health. This in turn can help them get back on track after a hospital stay and lead to lower healthcare costs.