Fans of food prepared at the Broken Hill Hospital Kiosk will be able to compare the ‘gold, silver and bronze’ standard of their nutritional choices thanks to a project by student dietitians on placement with Far West Local Health District.
Student dietitians Ash Thomas and Shannon Khull from Wollongong University have developed a classification system that harmonised with Broken Hill’s culture of mining, where the metals of Gold, Silver and Bronze help identify the best nutritional choices from ones that should only be consumed rarely.
The project ‘The Hill’s Helping Hand in Nutrition’ aims to highlight healthier options available at the Hospital kiosk and was developed in consultation and agreement with the Kiosk volunteers.
“This project to classify Kiosk food items for ‘The Hill’ will help people make healthier eating choices and get a nutritional golden tick of approval,” said Far West LHD Community Dietitians, Heidi Drenkhahn.
The project was mindful that the Broken Hill Hospital Kiosk raises over $100 000 every year for the hospital which helps buy much needed medical equipment and furniture such as CT scanners, blood pressure cuffs and much more. The Kiosk volunteers make some of Broken Hill’s most loved and talked about foods. “People come into the hospital just to buy our tuna patties or sandwiches because they are so cheap and cooked with traditional ‘Hill’ love,” said one of the volunteers.
The students worked with the Kiosk volunteers for two weeks observing food preparation in order to classify the food items offered.
“Working with the Kiosk volunteers has been fantastic, they provide an amazing range of homemade foods that we’ve been analysing and categorising over the last few week,” said student Shannon Khull.
“The idea of the podium system is to categorise food items into three different groups; Gold, Silver and Bronze,” said Ms Khull. “Gold standard foods are those that contain the most nutritional value, are lower in saturated fats and sugars and are high in fibre. The nutritional quality of a food declines as you go to Silver and Bronze respectively.”
‘The Hill’s Helping Hand in Nutrition’ project will be launched on Thursday, 16 March at 10am in the Broken Hill Hospital foyer. The students and Heidi Drenkhahn will be available to talk about the project and have available nutritional information.
“Make a move towards healthier eating choices by dropping by on Thursday to talk to the girls providing ‘The Hill’ and see what place your favourite lunch item sits on the podium!” said Ms Drenkhahn.
Student Ash Thomas said choosing healthy food options is an important health choice for many people in today’s society. “If we can made it easy by highlighting the best choices with a gold podium label we might just be able to make eating healthy a record winning habit.”
The Wollongong girls also gained insight into one of ‘The Hills’ local secrets. “We were completely stumped when one of the volunteers told us they were making cheeseslaw sandwiches. It was so great to see how close and connected Broken Hill was to have its own food creation,” said Miss Thomas.