Changes to the Broken Hill Hospital Kiosk food menu this year could help support the adoption of healthy eating habits for staff and visitors to the facility.
“As a health service we want to help people make the right choices and there is no better way to encourage people to adopt healthier eating habits than by leading by example right here,” said Ms Heidi Drenkhahn, Community Dietitian at Far West Local Health District.
The changes are part of the new NSW Health Healthy Food and Drink Framework introduced across the state to support the government’s Make Healthy Normal campaign. This is a NSW-wide change to occur in all health facilities that have food outlets and vending machines, which seeks to boost the number of healthy options on the kiosk food menu
Two final year dietetic students from University of Wollongong have for the past five weeks been working as full time project officers helping Kiosk volunteers to implement the new framework, with the support of the Dietetics Department.
“The Kiosk volunteers do an amazing job providing delicious homemade meals and treats for the customers” said Andrea Rossides, UOW Dietetics student. “We want to reassure locals that popular homemade items such as scones, soups, sausage rolls and tuna patties are all staying on the Kiosk menu as they are local favourites and easily fit within the new framework,” she added.
Some of the changes at the kiosk facilitated by the students include:
- Arranging the drinks fridge to promote healthy options by placing them on the top shelves
- Highlighting and encouraging healthy food options by placing healthy options at eye level.
- Investigating healthy options for the hospital vending machines and the snack shelves within the kiosk.
Further changes recommended by the students include increasing the number of home-made hot meals (stews/curries etc), especially during winter and offering meal-deals with a healthy meal, snack and drink to further encourage customers to make a healthy choice. These, along with other ideas will be considered over the coming months as the Kiosk continues to work on increasing its healthy options.
The students also conducted a survey of close to 100 kiosk customers to assess the staff and general public’s food preferences at the kiosk.
“We found that over 70% of the kiosk customers preferred to buy healthy options such as sandwiches and salad plates, further supporting the need to increase the availability of healthy options,” said Elizabeth Hurley, UOW Dietetics Student.
Ms Drenkhahn said the Dietetics Department will continue to work with the Kiosk as the implementation of healthy food options continues.
“By increasing the availability of healthy options, making the healthy choice becomes the easy choice for our staff and visitors” said Ms Drenkhahn.
More information on the policy (Healthy Food and Drink in NSW Health Facilities for Staff and Visitors Framework), tools and resources to support implementation can be found at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/heal/Pages/healthy-food-framework.aspx
Tips to Make Healthy Normal can be found at www.makehealthynormal.nsw.gov.au