Is Hospital Food Service Something You Can Feel Confident About?

hospital foodI 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!

24 thoughts on “Is Hospital Food Service Something You Can Feel Confident About?

  1. sarah

    I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and got very tired of the food. It helps to have friends bring in food you like as well as sharing their company, which is invaluable.

  2. Jack Jargens

    I found this information very valuable before I went into the hospital. I was not fond of the food in the hospital and was so happy I had already arranged for friends and family to bring me some through out my stay!

  3. Ana B.

    I tend to ask relatives to bring food for me when I’m in the hospital because, you’re right, I don’t like the food much. Preparing ahead is great advice.

  4. Tim Herd

    I’ve had both good to great hospital food. I am confident enough that minimum standards are being met in most North American hospitals but there are those who can be quite sensitive. Know what you can tolerate and if you can’t tolerate the local cuisine, definitely ask for help as you ARE trying to get better after all.

  5. Chris W.

    I would agree that having someone bring you food while you are in the hospital would help you maintain your nutrition while recovering. I can remember family members bringing my nephew burgers while he endured a three month hospital stay after a motorcycle accident. I’m sure that it really kept his spirits up.

  6. Jenny McKnight

    I know what you mean about hospital food being tasteless. I was in the hospital for six days, and when I finally got out I treated myself to a great restaurant. I never really considered bringing food with me. That is a valid point, thank you.

  7. Samantha R.

    When I was in the hospital I was lucky to find that they offered chicken strips. I’m very happy they did though because if they hadn’t of had them I would of starved as I am a real picky eater.

  8. wendy mitchell

    Hospitals are well known for terrible food. As long as your Dr, says you can eat a regular diet, then do have family or friends bring food that you actually will eat and not be starving the whole time.

  9. Nicole Evans

    Thankfully i have only ever had to endure hospital food three times in my life (when i had my children), and it seems that it is a worldwide issue! You would think that in a place where people are recovering from, often, life threatening illnesses, the nutrition would be of top priority. I like your suggestion of having your own food brought in, i will keep that in mind next time a friend or relative has to stay in hospital!

  10. Kris H

    I hate hospital food. The next time I’m there I’ll certainly ask about using their kitchen or having family and friends bring something for me.

  11. Dan Ward

    I had a hospital stay recently and my family brought me some food. This really helped me recover rather than have the same hospital food on a daily basis!

  12. Gary R

    I myself have never been in the hospital for a long extended stay, so this is great advice to have. If I have to spend any extended time I will be sure to have family & friends to bring some goodies.

  13. amanda keel

    Poor quality hospital food can really be a negative factor in a person’s recovery, both physically and mentally. Having some non perishable food on hand that you enjoy while in the hospital can certainly help build up your strength and give you some comfort.

  14. Hunter Kegz

    Thanks. I will make sure that when I come to the hospital next time, I will bring some of my own food. The food is horrible there!

  15. MBW

    I personally hate Hospital food. I know they have to make mass quantities of it but it’s always bland and lifeless. Planning ahead and having people bring in food would be a great idea.

  16. Anne

    I have eaten hospital food, and I agree with you it doesn’t taste good, that’s why we should always buy our own food whenever one of our loved ones in the hospital.


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