5 Big Changes: A Hospital's Nutritional Make-Over

Soggy lettuce. Mealy potatoes. Rubberized flank steak. The mere idea of hospital food can trigger one's gag reflex.

At St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, the hospital food's image has just undergone a complete makeover. St. Joseph is backed by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association's Healthy Food Hospitals program, which supports locally grown foods and nutritional choices for patients and staff. These initiatives set the foundation for the new hospital cafeteria.

A quick look at the new changes:

1. Portion-size reduction

2. Lower fat and sodium content

3. Fresh ingredients from on-site farm

4. Fewer processed foods, more home-made products

5. Color-coded system which allows cafeteria-goers to select the healthiest option for their diet

St. Joseph Mercy certainly raised the bar, but why did it take so long? If what we eat directly correlates to our health, why aren't all hospitals creating similar cafeterias? We cannot wait for hospital's to catch up to our needs. It is important that we take our health into our own hands. If you or a loved one is experiencing pain or discomfort, don't let a medical system stand in your path.

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