I don’t know of anyone who actually likes hospital food. It is usually cold and tasteless. And of course it is seldom the type of food that you are used to or like. If you are unlucky enough to find yourself in hospital for a number of days you are bound to be disappointed with hospital food service.
Some hospitals do not even have a kitchen. Frozen food is delivered to them and it is heated for the patients. At least this food is usually hot even if tough and tasteless. Many hospitals do not offer you a choice of food either; too bad if you don’t like what is being offered. If the hospital does not have a kitchen, morning and afternoon tea may not be offered offered either.
Therefore, it is a good idea to bring some food with you to ensure that you have something that appeals to you. You will have to have food that does not need refrigeration. Muesli bars, packs of fruit and nuts, chocolate bars, tiny containers of fruit in natural juice etc are all things you may consider. If you get visitors let them know what food you would like them to bring in.
The good news, I guess, is if you have had surgery you probably do not feel like eating anyway.
For months after my brain surgery I felt nauseous and everything tasted metallic. Even water had a chemical taste to it. Peter, my husband, learnt how to make me a good quality jelly and I would try to eat a couple of spoonfuls. Other than that, I would have half a slice of bread & honey. The sweet flavours seemed easier to accept. This was my entire diet for weeks.
Needless to say, I lost a great deal of weight. Unfortunately I was also weak and not eating made the progress of my recovery very slow.
The part of the brain that controls vomiting and nausea had been touched and bruised; it took drugs and time before it improved. It was not a slow improvement either. One day, about three months after surgery, I simply woke up and didn’t feel any nausea! It was a wonderful feeling and from that point on, my recovery sped up.
Coping with hospital food (or the lack of it) can certainly affect your mental well being and ultimately, your recovery. Hospital food service is usually not something that you can feel confident about.
In my book, Thank God I Had a Stroke, I speak about the problems I encountered with hospital food. My husband was in a different hospital a couple of years later and lost 6k in 6 days! He just could not eat the food they provided him with.
Tips and Hints
Depending on just how ill you are, if you think you will feel like food in hospital, be prepared to take something with you that you like. Ask if the hospital has its own kitchen and if you get a choice of meals. Perhaps work out a roster with friends and what food you would like them to bring for you. You may think this is a ‘bit over the top’, but believe me, if you are in hospital for three or four days and cannot eat their food, you will find this advice valuable!