Encouraging Healthy Eating One Taste Bud at a Time

Healthy eating and great taste are two phrases that aren’t always thought of together, but the culinary team at Regional Medical Center is changing that. Working with food service partner, Morrison, Regional Medical Center is one of the first hospitals in the nation to implement a new wellness platform designed to offer great tasting, better-for-you food options, change the perception of healthy food, and help make good eating habits a way of life.

“We’re excited about this new platform, which will make healthy choices more accessible to our patients, staff and visitors as well as help them form new eating behaviors we hope they embrace when they leave the hospital, too,” said David Edwards, Director of Food & Nutrition. “It’s just as much about changing the way people think about food as it is about changing what they eat when they’re here.”

Regional Medical Center is implementing the program in stages, with many changes already underway.  Examples of changes that patients, staff and visitors can expect to see in both patient meals and in the cafeteria include:

  • Calories per serving labels on recipes and patient meals
  • Monthly wellness promotions focused on improving health through better nutrition
  • Better-for-you food options displayed at cash registers
  • A healthy FIT combo meal available every day
  • Exclusive use of whole grain breads, rolls, buns and bagels as well as whole grain or legume-based pasta
  • Brown rice and whole grain sides and salads offered

Behind-the-scenes improvements are also being made including an increase in the percentage of fresh, seasonal and local produce; exclusive use of cooking spray, misted oils or vegetable broth in made-to-order foods; elimination of all trans fats; a 44 percent reduction of sodium and 33 percent reduction in calories from traditional fare; and sustainability commitments, such as minimizing food waste, sourcing sustainable packaging and supporting composting and recycling programs.