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Food

Six Award-Winning Innovations in Hospital Foodservice

Fried chicken. Meatball sandwiches. Country-fried steak.

Those are just a few of the hospital food offerings the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) found in a 2011 study. Dietitians surveyed more than 110 hospitals and found an abundance of fast-food outlets as well as cafeteria and patient menus "dominated by foods high in fat, cholesterol, calories, sugar, and sodium."

The findings didn't surprise Susan Levin, PCRM's director of nutrition education, but she believes hospitals have a duty to do better. Most people are hospitalized because of a chronic illness brought on by poor diet or lifestyle choices, she points out, so why not take the opportunity to teach them how to eat right?

We spoke with two innovators in healthcare foodservice who won awards for doing just that. Drew Patterson is culinary director of Ohio State University’s 1400-bed Wexner Medical Center, which won Best Wellness Concept from Food Management in 2015 for its Michael D. Bloch Café. Dan Henroid is director of Nutrition & Food Services at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center (UCSFMC), which won Best in Show. Here are some of their best practices for hospital foodservice.

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Topics: Healthy eating, Food, Healthcare

Beyond nuggets: 10 ways to build a better children's menu

Healthier, more creative children's menus are no longer just a trend — they're becoming a must-have. The National Restaurant Association placed both "healthful kids' meals" and "children's nutrition" in its top 10 culinary trends for 2014. Parents want dining options that are flavorful, organic, original and kid-approved. Creating menu items that kids will like and parents will purchase is a tall order, so here are some ways to get started.

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Topics: Children's Menus, Kids' Menus, Healthy eating, Featured, Branding, Food

“Healthy” is changing: why coconut oil could be the new canola

Consumers concerned about eating well are no longer a minority—they’re the majority. In a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association, more than 70 percent of adults said they were trying to eat more healthfully at restaurants than they did in the past. But what does “eating healthfully” mean today?

The clamor for fat-free foods has faded, thanks in part to studies showing both the health benefits of “good” fats and the potential downsides of diets high in sugar and carbohydrates. Today customers are much more likely to be concerned about gluten, and so it’s not surprising that Datassential reports a 72.5 percent increase the appearance of the term “gluten-free” on American menus from 2011 to 2012.

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Topics: Trends, Coconut oil, Healthy eating, Cooking oils, Featured, Food

2014’s food trends offer customers comfort and good health

"Stay close to home, eat your veggies and then you may have ice cream." Sounds like Mom, right? Actually that’s a pithy summary of this year’s food trends, nearly all of which are focused on comfort, good health, and the possibility of enjoying both.

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Topics: Gluten-free, Trends, Children's Menus, Tea, Ice cream, Local sourcing, Midwestern Food, Healthy eating, Ancient grains, Food

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