Let's Talk About Hospital Food

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Getting well while in the hospital is supposed to be made possible by strict medical supervision, restful atmosphere, clean surroundings, and healthy food. Sick people are not exactly known to be eager eaters as appetite is commonly affected by sickness. Hospital nutritionists are therefore tasked to come up with food preparations that are not only in accordance with the advised diet but also encourage them to eat to make the convalescence period shorter.

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Patients who do not have any diet restrictions usually have an easier time accepting hospital food as nutritionists have more choices to work on. Hospital food have a widely-known reputation for being bland. This is because spices and artificial flavorings are kept to the minimum, if at all allowed.

Types of Hospital Diet

Many hospital patients are not able to tolerate the Regular Diet. Some will be given Liquid Diets which can consist of water, broth, clear juices, popsicles and gelatin. Others can be given the Soft Diet which includes food that can be mashed by a fork and easy to swallow. Restricted Diets can limit the amount of calories, fat, salt, or other substances, depending on doctor's orders. Therapeutic Diets are specifically prepared as part of the treatment of a disease or sickness. Nutritionists will have to be extra creative for these special diets. Photo below shows pulverized food molded to look like their real counterparts as shared by the image owner.

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Presentation of Hospital Food

Hospital food is brought to the patient's room in a compartmentalized tray or in plates and bowls, depending on the viand. In the recent hospitalization of my wife, I noticed a variation. Patients' food came in boxes as seen below.

Rice is wrapped while the viands were placed in separate paper containers with cover. Soup and dessert is also included. Liquid or powdered drinks are likewise included especially for breakfast.

This is actually a welcome change as we cannot help but think of the possibility of contracting any additional sickness while staying in the hospital. Although I know hospitals have disinfecting procedures in place for cleaning plates and utensils, these lunch boxes appear to be more hygienic. I'm also happy to note that many hospitals are now more conscious of the importance of food in treating patients.  


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