Maintaining a well-balanced diet is ideal for anyone’s health. If you have the health of your patients to consider, making sure your facility serves nutrient-rich foods and meals is all the more important. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite healthy foods from each food group that your foodservice staff can utilize in your patients’ meals today!
Some people love fruit so much they can’t get enough of it, while others are so used to processed sugars that natural fruit just doesn’t cut it for them. Fruit is one of the healthiest most versatile ingredients around. You can pair it with yogurt or oatmeal for a healthy, filling breakfast. You can eat it straight, or pair it with nuts, seeds, or natural spreads, as a great snack. You can even include it at lunch or dinnertime by using it all kinds of different ways other than just on top of salads!
- BBQ chicken and pineapple grilled cheese sandwich made with whole grain bread is a delicious fruity favorite perfect for picky patients of all ages.
- Grilled pork chops made with peaches and walnuts is a truly peachy keen recipe your patients are sure to love.
- Macadamia salmon with pineapple salsa is a fresh, fruity, fishy delight that is packed with nutrients that are sure to leave your patients smiling.
- Glazed five-spice burger topped with gingery mangos is a spicy treat that will having your patients feeling full and ready for anything.
The basic rule of thumb is, the more colorful the vegetable, the more nutrients it has. For example, if your facility serves salads, forgoing that pale green iceberg lettuce for nutrient rich spinach or kale is the biggest way to make the biggest impact. Plus, it’s been proven that more colorful meals are more appealing to patients, meaning they eat more and receive more nutrients per meal.
- Chilled tomato and beet soup is a gorgeous red concoction that is full of the antioxidant lycopene, which is known to lower the risk of heart disease, macular degeneration, and some forms of cancer – plus it’s delicious and perfect for patients on a soft foods or all liquid diet.
- Looking for a fall favorite? Carrots with an orange-hazelnut vinaigrette is sure to be at the top of your patient’s list. Full of vitamin A and C, this meal is brimming with powerful antioxidants to satisfy your patients’ appetites and nutritional needs.
- Crispy zucchini tacos with cherry pepper crema, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, purple cabbage, and radish is a great recipe is you’re looking for vibrant colors that are as appeasing to the eye as they are to the appetite.
Grains & Dairy
When it comes to grains and dairy, it’s all about keep the fat content low and your fiber high so that your patients can reap the best of both worlds without giving up carbs or dairy. Switching from white breads and rice, to brown rice and whole grain bread; and from whole milk and soft cheese to low-fat milk and harder cheeses (or plant based alternatives), is a great start.
- Zucchini lasagna is the perfect meal for those who can’t get enough of this ooey-gooey comfort food, but are looking to cut back on pasta. It’s just like regular lasagna, except with zucchini instead of noodles, and ground turkey instead of beef – and you get to keep the cheese! Your patients won’t even notice a difference.
- Burritos are another comfort food your patients don’t have to give up just because they need less fat and more fiber. Chicken and beans offer plenty of protein and fiber, while other ingredients like brown rice, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, avocado, corn, green chiles, and more add plenty of color and flavor.
No matter what you want to make, or what your patients love, chances are that same recipe can be made with leaner meat. Tacos? Use chicken or turkey. Chili? Pork, turkey, or chicken work just as well as beef. Even pasta dishes and other comfort foods can be made without all the fat. Don’t be afraid to mix and match your meat. While ground pork may be a great spaghetti ingredient, mixing with equal parts ground chicken or turkey will add another level of flavor without doubling up on fat and sodium.
Remember, denying your patients what they want and crave is the fastest way to see them skipping meals and refusing to eat. By keeping them in control and letting them have healthier alternatives of their must-have foods, ideal care and satisfaction will always be in harmony. Call 629.777.8989, or fill in the free consultation form in the sidebar, to learn more about how our software can positively impact the lives of the patients and visitors you service every day.