Pen Bay Healthcare Helps Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice
in Hospital Cafeteria
Pen Bay Healthcare is participating in a national effort to promote healthier lifestyles across the country. Pen Bay, as a member hospital in the MaineHealth system, has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) “Hospital Healthy Food Initiative,” a program that strives to create a healthier environment by increasing the availability of nutritious options in hospital cafeterias.
First Lady Michelle Obama is honorary chair of the three-year PHA program. 155 hospitals across the country are participating, making it the most expansive effort to impact hospital food and nutrition to date.
Pen Bay aims to make the healthy choice the easy choice by building upon many of the healthy practices we already have in place, such as better nutritional labeling to preparing meals in healthier ways.
“As centers for health in our communities, we have a responsibility to provide our patients, visitors and employees with a wide variety of affordable and healthy options, which is why we were eager to volunteer to join PHA’s ‘Hospital Healthy Food Initiative’ and lead the way,” said Deborah Deatrick, Senior Vice President of Community Health, MaineHealth.
Over the next three years, MaineHealth's member hospitals will be focusing on creating a healthier environment with increased availability of nutritious options by adopting standards in the following categories:
– Boost access to fruits and vegetables
– Make healthy meals more affordable
– Encourage healthier beverage choices
– Focus on preparing healthier foods
– Label foods with nutrition information
– Market healthy foods in cafeterias & on menus
Pen Bay's director of Nutritional Services Jeffrey Space notes some of the changes made in the Pen Bay cafeteria and for patient menus:
– Reduced sugary drinks and diet sodas and increased offerings to 100% fruit juices and carbonated drinks such as flavored seltzer water
– Introduced whole grains as ingredients in cooking, such as quinoa and barley
– Introduced more fruits and vegetables in main dishes and side dishes
– Implemented the software program called Food Processor that prints nutritional labels placed on all foods that are served at Pen Bay
About Partnership for a Healthier America
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. For more information about PHA, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.