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New Inpatient Menu at duPont Hospital for Children Full of Healthy Choices, Information
Kids played an important role in making selections.
The Food and Nutrition Services department at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children recently debuted their new “At Your Request” room service menu for inpatients of the hospital, available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. The duPont Hospital in collaboration with its food service partner Sodexo and Nemours Health & Prevention Services, is one of the first pediatric hospitals in the county to include in-depth nutrition labeling and a wide range of healthful options on the inpatient menu. To do so took a cooperative effort on the part of clinical dietitians, nurses, and other staff with guidance and taste testing provided by our Family Advisory Council and Youth Advisory Council.
Among the new menu’s highlights:
- All menu items listed include calories, carbohydrates, and portion size.
- A greater number of Wellness items are included. Wellness items meet specific criteria for calories, sodium, carbohydrates and saturated fat.
- Gluten-free options are identified.
- Vegetarian options are identified.
- Among the 20 new menu items available are made-to-order omelettes, vegetable enchiladas, fish tacos, flatbread sandwiches and lactose free milkshakes.
- Soda has been removed from the menu; however, it is still available upon request.
- The menu includes the My Plate food guide icon to help in making healthy choices.
Director of Social Work Dale Perkel, MSW, who facilitates the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), said: “It was amazing to listen to the YAC members when they were reviewing the menu. They took the job seriously and their suggestions took into account what kids like to eat, advice from the dietitian about nutrition, and the need for variety and choice. One of our members has diabetes and she recommended the menu include carbohydrate counts for each item. Others in the group thought it would be great to offer foods from different cultures and were thrilled to see that it actually happened.”
Youth Advisory Council member Emma Lucey, 14, of Wilmington, Del, said, “It was awesome that we were able to sample a variety of food and help make decisions based on our opinions, rather than adults’ opinions. That’s why I like being part of the YAC — I’m a kid helping to decide things for the hospital, such as meals that are nutritious and also taste good to kids. Personally, I loved the (baked) French fries!”