How to improve meals in health establishments?

“Offset additional costs with less waste”

Frédéric Descrozaille,deputy (LREM) of Val-de-Marne and president of the piloting committee of the “Meals at the hospital” experiment

“Launched in September 2018 in the hospitals of Douai, Paray-le-Monial and AP-HP in Paris, with the support of the Restau’Co network, the“ Meals at the hospital ”project aimed to experiment other ways of doing things by promoting collaboration between players in hospital nutrition, often left to dieticians alone.

→ INVESTIGATION. “Inedible”, “tasteless” … In the hospital, meals do not satisfy the sick

Several devices have been put in place, such as “eat hand” menus, with textures allowing dependent elderly people to gain autonomy by gripping food with their fingers; or packed lunches, offering the patient the possibility of ordering his tray when he wishes, or even to take it, if he leaves earlier. Three years later, the results are extremely positive. The rate of nutrition and the level of satisfaction are better, + 27% among those who benefited from a packed lunch!

Finance wins. These adaptations represent an additional cost, in particular the purchase of better quality products, but they are offset by a reduction in waste, up to 30% with the “eat hand” device, and less use of food supplements. We should disseminate practical sheets drawn from our experience. Each hospital is free to take it up. “

“Review the recipes and the presentation of the dishes”

Muriel Hattab,president of the Princess Margot association, at the origin of the “Meals toques”

“At the head of the Princess Margot association for nine years, I have often observed that children and adolescents hospitalized for cancer do not touch their plate. When we are on chemotherapy, we often have nausea. The last thing you want is a white fish with a strong smell …

In 2018, we therefore initiated the “Meal toqué” program within the adolescent hematology department of Saint-Louis hospital in Paris. Chef Grégory Cohen took up the challenge of improving the dishes by following the recommendations of dietitians and… without increasing costs! Poached hake in coconut milk, chicken satay skewers… Beyond the taste, the big difference lies in the dressing. A mash nicely presented on the plate, with a small tomato placed on it, it’s more engaging than a shapeless mass. The effect on the appetite of young patients was also immediate.

→ CHRONICLE. The sad taste buds of nursing home residents

Since 2019, the whole hospital has the right to a “cracked meal” once a week. Ultimately, we could deliver other services, and even other Parisian establishments. However, this way of cooking, if it does not cost more, takes more time … We would therefore need human resources, but the hospital does not have them. “


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