Morrison Healthcare accounts join Partnership for a Healthier America

The non-profit that shares the same mission as the first lady's Let's Move! campaign.

March 7—Typical hospital foods that have been ridiculed for years are being replaced by more nutritious fare, such as flatbread pizzas, turkey meatloaf, heart-shaped frozen yogurt desserts, baked chicken and baked french fries.

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is announcing Thursday that as many as 400 more hospitals, which use Morrison Healthcare Food Services, are joining PHA's program to offer healthier fare to patients, visitors and employees. Overall, as many as 550 hospitals will now be participating in the program. Hospitals participating in the healthier food program are asked to:

- Offer a daily lower-calorie healthy meal and children's healthy meal in their cafeterias and on patients' menus. Those meals must meet specific food and nutrition standards, and cafeteria meals must be priced less than or equal to other meals.

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On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

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We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
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We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

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