Appetite for choice drives nutritious new children's menu
Published: Tuesday 18 Aug 2015
Launch of Children's Menu
Changes to NHS Fife’s children’s menu mean young patients now have access to a more age-specific menu, featuring a wider choice of meals and healthier options.
The changes follow recommendations made by Action for Sick Children Scotland, which conducted a survey of the experiences of parents, carers and children when it came to food in hospital. Amongst the charities main findings were that health boards should consider introducing nutritionally appropriate, specific menus for younger people, with guidance regarding healthier choices.
Previously, the children’s menu was largely based on adult options and consisted of traditional fare such as soup, a main course and a pudding on a three-weekly cycle. The new a la carte menu has been nutritionally analysed, is brightly coloured and dinosaur themed and, whilst retaining some of the more popular meals from the previous menu, has expanded to over 20 more child-friendly main meal choices, with over half of these being healthier options. There are also numerous sides, sweets and treats for children to choose from.
Interim Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Services, Jim Rotheram, said:
“Hospital can often be a daunting place for a young person to come and NHS Fife is continually striving to make the hospital environment seem less clinical and more like a home-from-home. Indeed, the new children’s menu is a colourful, fun way to engage youngsters during their stay and features positive healthy eating messages, extolling the virtues of fruit and vegetables and promoting the benefits of five-a-day. Furthermore, where children have specific dietary requirements these will also be catered for.
“The move to an a-la-carte menu is a positive development and takes into account not only the nutritional importance of providing age-appropriate healthy choices, but also inpatient stays. For instance, the previous menu three-weekly menu cycle meant that any child staying in the hospital for up to three weeks could, in theory, be given the same relatively limited options every day for the duration of their stay; these changes give a wholesale expansion of their options and ensure that they have plenty of choices regardless of how long they stay in hospital.
“NHS Fife is committed to continually improving its care and a key part of this ongoing improvement is listening to the experiences of patients and acting upon this information. Crucially, this new menu is driven by feedback and I am confident that the changes will lead to a better experience for the children who require our care.”