While the main focus of all hospitals is to get patients better, many still serve fried foods such as chicken fingers and French fries which do not promote long term health. Henry Ford Health System has set out to try and change some of these unhealthful practices.
It is no secret that Henry Ford himself was ahead of his time. Henry Ford Hospital was built by Henry Ford and opened its doors in 1915. Ford chose not to hire smokers, and if he found an employee smoking on company grounds, they were fired. Ford also worked with local food companies to encourage healthful eating. Henry Ford Health System has stuck with Ford’s beliefs and values and has continued to encourage health and wellness.
Consistency and acceptability were two issues the hospital system faced when making the decision to change the food options they offered. To make all the hospitals in the Henry Ford Health System consistent the organization chose to improve the food programs by becoming a self-run operation. All of the food systems are Henry Ford Health System employees. Henry Ford Health System has also eliminated trans fats from their menus and has removed all deep fryers from hospital campuses.
Henry Ford West Bloomfield has even added a greenhouse at their location. This allows the chef to call the greenhouse and find out what is in season. The food is harvested and goes on the plate in less than 24 hours. While initially there was some concern about how people would receive these changes, but overall people are enjoying the food. Some popular items are stuffed cabbage rolls made with ground turkey, and veggie stir fry. Patients have commented that they didn’t realize eating well could taste so good. While Henry Ford Health Systems is ahead of its time, other hospitals are sure to follow their example.
Article summarized was from Today’s Dietitian magazine.