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    • #35485
      Colleen Steele

      I don’t believe anyone has ever said, “I’m craving hospital food!”. But when stuck in the hospital and your only option is ordering from the cafeteria menu, what do you typically select to order?

      If he doesn’t have diet restrictions, my son usually opts for Mac-N-Cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.

      As his caregiver, I often order the same but if I only have time and energy for a snack I go for fresh fruit and mix it into cottage cheese.

      Share your favorites and any hospital food tips you might have.

    • #35492
      Jen Cueva

      Ahh, I love this topic, @colleensteele. I started a column some time ago related to this topic but never got back to finishing it. It was one where I hit a wall and left for later; have you experienced that with writing?

      I, like Cullen, can sometimes opt for soup or grilled cheese if I am not restricted. I’ve also ordered a fruit tray and had enough fruit for 2 days before, LOL. It’s usually served with cottage cheese, but they left mine off since I won’t eat it. It was a pretty nice assortment of fresh fruits. I should have a pic of that because I was using that in that column I started.

      Baked potato or pasta is also something I have found helpful. A few veggies, but usually a side salad or veggies with hummus works for me.

      But more often, when nothing that allows me to eat is appetizing, Manny or KK would get me food from home or outside the hospital they knew I might eat.

      At Methodist in Houston, they had one of my favorite soups but only one day per week unless you grab it in the cafeteria. So we learned that quickly. It was a greek lemon chicken rice soup. Yummy! I’m good if I add extra lemon and a few crackers or a side salad. Too bad as I suggested that they can’t offer patients and caregivers that food; maybe better food options would help us recover faster.

      Oh, the joys of hospital food…

    • #35504
      Colleen Steele

      @jenc that Greek lemon chicken rice soup sounds doesn’t just sound delicious, it sounds comforting, which is just what you need when you are in the hospital.

      Have you ever ordered take-out when hospitalized? You would need a caregiver with you in order to do so. I’ve done that many, many times for Cullen and it was usually chicken wings. He would often want it after a long, difficult day and I wanted him to have (with permission from his doctor of course) but to be honest, I was usually exhausted too and take-out was work for me. It was often a trek to the front desk to wait for pick-up then walk it all back, get him it all out and Cullen situated, then clean him all up afterward because wings are messy, LOL. Ah, but it made him happy. Everything was worth the effort if it made him happy!

      • #35520
        Jen Cueva

        Hi @colleensteele, yeah, lemon greek chicken soup is one of my favorite soups, and surprisingly it was really good there. Of course, I had to send Manny or KK to get it because the hospital nutritionist only would allow a tiny amount because of my fluids restrictions. But they were giving me IV fluids at that time, too. SMH.

        Oh yeah, like Cullen, I would get Chipotle or a chopped greek chicken salad at a nearby place around Methodist hospital. Once when my sodium was so low, my kidney doctor said let me eat what I want. I was not all coherent and wanted a milkshake and a patty melt. Low and behold, there was a little family-owned grill around the corner from the hospital that the staff frequented. I ended up with a milkshake, patty melt, and the best onion rings. I ate about half of it, they said. But we then knew we could get greasy non-healthy food at the grill, LOL.

        I enjoy wings too. Does Cullen like his spicy? Ranch or blue cheese?

    • #35509

      I never had much of an issue with hospital food, probably because my own cooking isn’t exactly great! I grew up in a family full of wonderful cooks, but somehow the skill bypassed me.

      One thing I really liked when I was in the hospital was their seafood salad and the way they cooked their vegetables. For all the jokes we tend to hear about hospital food, I really had no complaints.

      • #35512
        Colleen Steele

        @dawnt in all honesty, I feel the same way. As unfortunate “regular” customers, Cullen and I have also figured out what meals to stay away from. Cullen has been seen at 4 hospitals since his journey began and every one has at least 3 or 4 meals or soups that are worthy of taking home to eat.

        The only thing that surprises me about hospital food that you have to be careful of is a lot on their menu is high in sodium. I’ve had food there that I didn’t like because it was too salty.

        Another tip is to ask the nurses, especially if you have one you are friendly with. They will tell you what dinners to keep an eye out for. For example, a nurse told us in one hospital that their nacho/taco night was the best…and it was!

      • #35521
        Jen Cueva

        Hi @dawnt, wow, seafood salad at the hospital? That sounds like a resort, hehe. It’s strange how different hospitals have such varied types and flavors of food. Here at UCSD, their food was always good, too. Methodist, only a few dishes that I found enjoyable. They had no flavor, and the veggies were just there. It may be that I cook with lots of garlic and spices, so my taste buds are off.

        , the taco-themed days here at UCSD were always good, too. If the staff say it’s a good day and they eat, it usually is, LOL.

        Unfortunately, being at the same hospital in Texas for so long, the staff learned to know my likes and dislikes and would remind me what to order. Now, it’s been years since I was an inpatient at UCSD; let’s hope I don’t need to be there either.

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