NYC hospitals take healthy approach to meals

City's Healthy Hospital Initiative helps hospitals provide healthy food in retail.

July 18 — It seems like common sense that hospitals — a place where people go to improve their health — would serve nutritious food. But that not always so in Montefiore Medical Center in the Norwood section of the Bronx.

"When I first started working here, there was a lot more greasy hot foods," says Julia Paukowits, a secretary in the Montefiore Neurology Department.

Having a popular menu, with fun bar-like snacks is not uncommon at hospitals around the city.

"As a physician, we often council our patients to eat a healthy diet and then you go to the cafeteria and you find sugary drinks and high-salt content," says Dr. Shlomo Kuperman, a Montefiore medical resident.

"That has all changed at Montefiore Medical Center. It is one of 35 hospitals to take part in the city Department of Health's Healthy Hospital Initiative." 

"When I first started working here, there was a lot more greasy hot foods," says Julia Paukowits, a secretary in the Montefiore Neurology Department. 

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Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

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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.

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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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