When you are unwell, a tasty, nutritious meal can not only make you feel better - it actually helps make you better by providing you with essential vitamins and minerals.
With this in mind, the bosses behind the catering at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have brought in new menus that are tempting young patients to eat healthy food full of the goodness they need.
The children’s menus include not only traditional favourite dinners that also feature on the adult menus, but meals and snacks that appeal to youngsters who may a bit on the picky side.
These child-friendly meals include tomato pizza, cod bites, chicken goujons and spaghetti hoops, with additional accompanying items such as salad snack pots, garlic bread and a vegetable medley.
And since being introduced in November, the meals seem to have been going down very nicely with patients on the hospital’s children’s ward.
Said Paul Beckworth, catering and retail manager: “We have had all positive feedback from it - from the ward staff and the children.”
Ward 25 leader Deb Farn agrees.
“The kids absolutely love the food,” she said.
“They still like the lunchboxes and sandwiches but this menu is in keeping with what they traditionally eat at home.”
The children’s menu is presented in two different ways - one for younger kids that is adourned with colourful cartoon figures, and one for teens that looks a little more ‘grown up’.
Medirest, the company behind the Steamplicity food that the trust serves, have dubbed the new menu ‘an exciting innovation’.
Steamplicity meals are individually-plated and cooked in microwaves, using ‘steam technology’ to ensure valuable nutrients are retained.
Said Deb: “There’s lots of colours and variety in the taste and presentation of the food.
“The patients get a really varied diet.
“They are more prone to look at the menus than they would the adult menu too.”
Hospital patients are given two meals from the menu everyday and can choose if they want one hot meal and one cold meal or two hot meals.
Whatever they choose, the menu has been designed to ensure that they get the nutrients they need.
“It’s got to represent everything that’s required to maintain their health needs,” said Deb.
“It has been done with dieticians and nutritionists and takes into account all the elements of a balanced diet.”