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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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

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gluten free diet

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A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

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