Hospital Food

  1. Is anyone else out there disgusted with what we feed our patients? Out of the 5 hospitals I have worked, none of them followed the recommended nutritional guidelines.

    Whole grains - has anyone seen them on a plate? (A whole grain does not include WHITE rice, WHITE pasta, WHITE bread, etc.)

    Legumes? Uh-uh.

    Five servings of fruits and veges a day? Only if you count the friut in jello (which is pure sugar and chemicals) or boiled carrots.

    Fish? The only time I have seen fish on a plate it was breaded and deep fried.

    One RD I spoke with on this subject said "The patients just wouldn't eat the food if we sent up baked fish and whole grains." Has she really seen the amount of food that gets thrown away because the patients WON'T eat it?

    Are we not the example of health and healing to our communities? How can we expect our patients to heal if we feed them crap!?!?

    Just a thought.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    On the contrary. Our hospital had a Cordon Bleu Chef. Our food was managed before that by Marriot. The food was the ONE thing RIGHT about it all.
  4. by   dawngloves
    I've worked in places where they give people with an ADA 1200 diet, sweetened ice tea and sherbert.

    I think most places have crappy food anyway. When I've been hospitilazed, I'd beg people to bring me food rather than suffer through my cold, bland, carb laden, house diet. One night, they sent me macaroni and cheese for dinner! I used to eat that for lunch , when I was 8!!
  5. by   nicola
    I have DMII and had an exploritory lap done. When I was in recovery, talking and doing well, they offered me food - jello, soda and graham crackers. I asked for diet soda. They brought me also sugar free jello. Sigh! I'd been NPO for 16 hours!!! I thought I could benefit from some sugar and asked the nurse for regular jello. "You have diabetes." Sigh! Can I not manage myself? Did she not get the length of time I'd been NPO? I ask for diet soda because I can't stand the taste of regular any more.

    Heavy sigh...
  6. by   Marianne518
    At one of the hospitals I did my clinicals this semester, the patients were given the option of eating hospital food or calling out to a local hotel to have their food delivered. They were asked to allow a hour or so for their food to get to their room. Most patients loved this way of doing things. I was also kind of nice seeing patients laying in bed flipping through the menu trying to decide what they wanted for lunch or dinner. I will also add that all of the food that I saw come into the hospital was very healthy appearing, served with a side salad and veggies. Maybe more and more hospitals will start doing something like this. I, for one, would be happy as a patient NOT to have to eat crappy hospital food.
  7. by   grouchy
    Hotel food, cordon bleu chef-hey, I want to work at your hospital! I agree, I've never seen truly healthy food-ie brown rice,etc. Usually the problems are even more basic- iceberg lettuce going brown with 1 lonely cherry tomato on top for a vegetable, you get the drift. I can't believe that noone would give that poor diabetic postop person a real soda. I consider it within the scope of my practice to make judgement calls like that, especially if dealing with an alert and oriented person who can verify that they are not a brittle diabetic. My latest gripe is that in the interests of cost-cutting, my hospital has now locked the kitchen afterhours. If we get a late ER admit who felt to sick to eat all day and now wants a meal, we have to get security to unlock the kitchen in the basement. This is a time-consuming procedure(We have to wait for them). Previously, we had independent access to a fridge in the kitchen with a selection of "late trays", and we signed them out. We only have a meager selection of juices, milk, and graham crackers on the floor, and are often out of one or more of these. And we never seem to have the stuff that sick people really want -like ginger ale.
  8. by   fiestynurse
    Most hospitals in this area subcontract out to places like the Marriot. They hire top Chefs and the food is pretty good for hospital food. It's not easy feeding 300-400 patients three times a day, plus all the staff and visitors. That's why I think it's great that they leave it to the experts. Love the vegetarian lasagne that they serve in the local hospital! Salad bar and soups are good, too. Plus, they have a coffee cart with the best vanilla lattes.
  9. by   grouchy
    Fiestynurse- I notice you are from California. The posts from the other participants who have chef/hotel catering in their hospitals do not indicate their location. I wonder if they are from the west coast too? The reason I ask is that one of my managers once told me that hospital trends tend to start in California and work eastwards. I don't know if this is true, but I certainly hope that this trend will spread to Connecticut.
  10. by   Genista
    Well, not all California hospitals have food service contracts with the pros. I can tell you from personal experience! I have never actually eaten the food from my hospital, because seeing it delivered to the floor gives me all the incentive I need to pack my bag lunch each day! LOL
  11. by   P_RN
    Hmmmm......I'm not in California.

    <--------SC see the Gamecock?
  12. by   RNforLongTime
    My hospital recently hired a chef to oversee the nutrition department. I can't tell if the food has gotten any better cause I work night shift now, but the food looked pretty decent before they hired this chef. A LOT better than the food they served at the last hospital I worked at. Some of that crap, I wouldn't feed to a dog!
  13. by   thisnurse
    for the most part the food in our hospital...that we serve the patients looks healthy. we do have broiled fish at times and chicken...for the patients...ITS US THAT GETS THE CRAP!
    i work evenings or nights. the cafeteria closes at 7. i get there bout 5. forget it...anything thats left is cold and terrible. i wont even eat there anymore.
    coffee shop has good food. of course it costs more but its good.
    we have to do that security unlock the cafeteria thing too after hours. what a pain in the butt. all they have are sandwiches and jello. maybe a banana on a good day.
  14. by   mattcastens
    I agree about the food. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory of having to make so much in bulk. It's true, though, that improvements could be made.

    I am a firm believer in healthy food. Not a veggetarian, but close, and I try to eat organic, whole foods whenever possible. I have my fiancee and family sworn to bringing be home made (healthy!) food if I ever end up in the hospital.

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Hospital Food