Healthy Hospital Food

MaineHealth is dedicated to patient and employee health. That commitment extends to dining and food service at all MaineHealth hospitals, and includes:

  • Offering more fruits and vegetables
  • Making healthy meals more affordable
  • Encouraging healthier drink choices
  • Serving more local food
  • Implementing sustainable practices (e.g., composting)
  • Preparing healthier recipes
  • Labeling foods with nutrition information
  • Marketing healthy foods in cafeterias and on menus
  • Cooking food that looks good, tastes good and is good for you, too!

Through the passion of our system's food service directors and their teams, MaineHealth is making great strides in improving access to healthy foods and beverages for patients, employees, families and communities.

Are you a hospital food service professional? Visit our resource page.

Healthy Hospital Food: What We Focus On

Improving Access to and Selection of Healthy Foods and Beverages

MaineHealth developed and implemented the Hospital Café Scorecard, in partnership with Cornell University’s Food & Brand Lab, to assess whether a hospital’s cafeteria environment encourages healthy food and beverage choices.

Increasing Healthy, Local Fruit and Vegetable Procurement

MaineHealth food service departments are working to increase their purchase of fruits and vegetables grown in New England (that have no added salt or sugar).

Sustaining Commitments from the Hospital Healthier Food Initiative

MaineHealth food service departments are maintaining or implementing the following three commitment areas:

  1. Create healthier checkouts: Offer only health-promoting food options within five feet of all cafeteria cash register stations.
  2. Ensure healthy marketing: Display only health-promoting food or meal options that meet the MyPlate standards in advertising/pictorials in cafeteria and on patient menu.
  3. Implement calorie labeling: Ensure all items available in cafeteria are labeled with calories per serving at point of purchase/service.

Our Menu for Change

In 2016, MaineHealth Food Service Directors and their teams celebrated the completion of the national Partnership for a Healthier America’s Hospital Healthy Food Initiative. The goal of this initiative was to create healthier cafeteria environments and more nutritious patient meals. Watch this video to see highlights of their successes and outcomes!

Check Plus Choices

Check Plus is a visual signage system designed to nudge consumers toward healthier offerings. Look for the green "Check Plus" label, sticker or sign to find healthy options based on guidelines from the Hospital Healthy Food Initiative.

 Our Partners

 

For more information about healthy hospital food, email us.

 

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