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Packard Hospital cafeteria revamps menu offerings to promote health

A UC Los Angeles study published last December found that relative to its competitors, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital does a reasonably good job of providing healthy choices in its cafeteria. Still, hospital leaders saw room for improvement.

So when water damaged the ground floor of the hospital four months ago, and a major overhaul of the cafeteria was required, officials used the renovations as an opportunity to transform the cafeteria's nutritional offerings to promote healthier eating habits. Thomas Robinson, MD, director of the Packard Children’s Center for Healthy Weight, commented on the changes in an Inside Stanford Medicine story published today:

For years, members of our medical and nursing staff have been approaching me and saying, ‘We need to improve the food in the cafeteria, because we’re advocating for everyone to do that in their own homes and in the community... It wasn’t very long ago that people smoked in hospitals. This is very much the same thing.

The article goes on to describe the menu changes:

Upon its reopening on Jan. 17, the cafeteria’s menu had been revamped to ensure that all items meet the hospital’s new food and beverage policy, which addresses food characteristics such as fat, sugar and salt content and portion sizes. It also calls for serving whole-grain breads and pasta, low-fat dairy and meat products, vegetarian options and a variety of seasonal and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages, deep-fried foods and bacon cheeseburgers have been eliminated.

Previously: Children’s hospitals need to promote healthy eating, UCLA study says
Photo by USDAgov

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