The hospital in Cody, Wyoming had what you expect to get as hospital food: completely cooked-to-death veggies, blah mashed potatoes and bland, greasy meat. Pretty close to the high fat, zero fiber diet in hospitals in south Texas when we had the pleasure. They had a cafeteria in Cody, but it seemed to be closed most of the time. However, they did give any of us with B at mealtime a hospital meal as well, free of charge, which was really nice, because they didn’t have to do that.
The food at Dell Children’s Hospital was a very pleasant surprise. It’s available at the cafeteria for everyone, and the patients can order stuff to be delivered to their rooms.
For breakfast there is the regular unhealthy stuff like bacon, eggs, sausage and such, but they also have oatmeal and yoghurt with granola and fruit, as well as plenty of fresh fruit cup choices.
The yoghurts and fruit are there all day, along with other healthy snacks like cups with celery, carrot and cucumber sticks with a bit of ranch dressing to dip.
Dinner is pretty good. Their meats are tasty and not overly greasy, they have nice brown rice and other grain mixtures for plenty of fiber, and their veggies are, if not exactly crispy, at least still sturdy.
The only complaint I have is that you pretty much have to have dinner at lunchtime, because everything’s often gone by 2:30, and from then on all you can get is fast food like burgers and chicken nuggets and fries. With a bit of luck they still have the sandwich stuff out, so we can have sandwiches and snacks. Still, it beats having to leave the hospital to go and get takeout for every meal if you want to eat something healthy.
I never expected to say this about a hospital, but I actually eat better here, having yoghurt with granola and fruit for breakfast, than at home, where I usually just grab a granola bar for on the road. And since doctors are always so concerned about the patient regaining proper bowel function after surgery, it helps B that the hospital food actually supports his recovery instead of working against it.
It’s a bit pricey for visitors, but still more convenient and cheaper than healthy takeout, and the profit the hospital makes from visitors probably pays for the healthy food being a bit more expensive to serve the patients. So it makes business sense as well.