Posts Tagged With: lunch

Obama’s 3000+ Calorie Inaugural Luncheon

For those guests attending the 57th Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies today, January 21st, 2013, I might recommend skipping breakfast…and dinner. Why? Because the inaugural luncheon’s 3 courses add up to a whopping 3027 calories (and that doesn’t include the wine).  Most adults’ calorie needs are closer to 2000 calories, so a 3027 calorie lunch definitely provides more than enough calories for the entire day.

I am all for indulging yourself on certain special days such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, etc… and I suppose the 57th Presidential Inauguration falls into the “special event” category, so I’ll give a little leeway to those attending the luncheon. Heck, if I was invited, I’d try a little bit of everything.  It sounds pretty good, especially the hickory grilled bison in the second course. Yum!

You can find the menu items and even the recipes at the links below, if you feel like re-creating the luncheon for your family and friends.  Just be aware the calorie counts are a little crazy!!



Per Serving: Calories 783, Fat 45.7g, Saturated Fat 16g, Cholesterol 247 mg, Sodium 1819 mg, Carbohydrates 55g, Dietary Fiber 7.5g, Sugar 14g, Protein 29g

Per Serving: Calories 1184, Fat 34.6g, Saturated Fat 16g, Cholesterol 177mg, Sodium 7445mg, Carbohydrates, 149g, Dietary Fiber 16.7, Sugar 97.2g, Protein 51g

Per Serving: Calories 1060, Fat 64.4g, Saturated Fat 39g, Cholesterol 331mg, Sodium 488mg, Carbohydrates, 108.5g, Dietary Fiber 1.7g, Sugar 75g, Protein 14g


Calories 3027, Fat 145 g, Saturated Fat 71g, Sodium 9752 mg, Total Carbs 312.5g, Sugar 186.2g, Fiber 25.9g, Protein 94g

All this means that the lunch has around 43% calories from fat (21% calories from saturated fat!!), 41% from carbohydrates, and 12% from protein. Healthy recommendations are closer to 45-60% from carbohydrates, under 30% from fat, and 15-20% from protein. Additionally, the sodium content of the luncheon is close to 406% of recommended daily sodium intake! At least the lunch has fiber – 25.9g is within the healthy range for adults (around 25-35 g/day).

It is surprising that the first lady, Michelle Obama, through all her childhood obesity prevention and her Let’s Move campaign, didn’t take the inaugural luncheon as an opportunity to promote healthy eating.  “It was definitely a missed opportunity for nutrition education, for example, to offer lightened-up recipe alternatives (even if just on the website),” says Rachel Berman, RD, CSR, CDN who compiled the nutrition data for this year’s inaugural luncheon.  Fighting childhood obesity is an important and noble cause, but lets not forget that as adults we have the responsibility to be good examples for kids, and that includes choosing to eat healthy.  Especially when there is such media attention surrounding this national event.

Categories: Current News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Which Hospital Foods are the Most Well-Received?

                As a part of my rotation at Mon Gen’s Patient Services, I needed to come up with a special project to implement and report on.  For my special project I decided to look at percentages consumed of certain meals. I gathered information from lunch trays on July 18-20, as well as breakfast trays from July 20.  I looked at each meal individually to see what food items were the most eaten and least eaten in that meal. I also combined all the data to see how each food item compared among all the other food items.  At around 9am for breakfast and 1pm for lunch, I’d go down to the dish room area and when the carts full of the trays returned, I would compare the items on the meal ticket to the food left on the plate to determine how much of what was eaten. I used the percentages of 0, 25, 50, 75, or 100%.  I was hoping this project would give me an idea into what foods are well-received and which foods are not, so that I could suggest appropriate changes to the menu that could increase the patient’s meal satisfaction.

Day 1 Lunch

For this meal, I looked at percentages eaten of the chicken salad sandwich, soup, brownie, and rice krispie bar.  There were 21 trays with 100% of the chicken salad sandwich eaten, and 13 trays in which 0% of the chicken salad sandwich was eaten.  It should be noted that about 5-6 of the trays that came back with 50% of the chicken salad sandwich eaten, had 100% of the chicken eaten, but 0% of the bread eaten. It seems that at least 5-6 patients enjoyed the chicken salad, but would have preferred to have it served without a sandwich bun.

The vegetable soup was pretty even across the board.  The rice krispie bar and brownie were highly popular and most trays had eaten 100% of the desserts.  Hostesses informed me that some patients request that they just receive the brownie, so the hostesses would give the patient the plate of their brownie, but not the rest of their tray. When I was shadowing a hostess, this happened once because a patient was about to be discharged, so they were leaving in just a few minutes and didn’t want their entire lunch.

 Day 2 Lunch

For this meal, I looked at percentages eaten of mashed potatoes, roasted turkey, and pineapple upside-down cake. The mashed potatoes and roasted turkey were highly popular, as over 20 trays came back with 100% eaten.  The pineapple upside-down cake was not as well received, as it had more even responses across the board.  11 trays came back with 100% eaten, and 10 trays came back with 50% or less eaten.

Day 3 Breakfast

On day three, I took a look at percentages eaten of breakfast items—toast, cream of wheat, and scrambled eggs. The scrambled eggs were highly popular, as 71% of the trays that came back had 100% of the scrambled eggs eaten.  The toast was also relatively well received. 31% of the trays had 0% eaten, but 53% of the trays had 100% of the toast eaten. The cream of wheat was very much an item that was either not touched (0% eaten), or was completely eaten (100%).  21 trays came back with all of the cream of wheat eaten, and 21 trays came back with none of the cream of wheat eaten.

Day 3 Lunch

 For day 3’s lunch, I looked at the chicken parmesan, pasta, breadstick, broccoli, lemon merengue pie, and/or lemon pudding. This was a popular meal, and as most of the trays came back with 100% of the foods eaten. The only item that wasn’t as popular was the broccoli, which 6 trays that had 100% eaten and 5 trays that had 25% or less eaten.

Average Percent Eaten

Finally, I compiled the data into one chart.  This time, I looked at the average percentage eaten of each food item.  For example, of all the patients that ordered lemon pudding, the average tray had 85.00% eaten.  For the patients that received the vegetable soup, the average patient ate 51.34% of the vegetable soup.  The items are ranked in order of percentage eaten, from “most popular” to “least popular.”

The lemon pudding and lemon merengue pie were the most popular desserts (at 85.00% and 84.21%, respectively), followed by the rice krispie bar and brownie, and finally the pineapple upside-down cake (at 64.81%).

The most popular breakfast item was the scrambled eggs, which received an average percentage eaten of 74.24%.  Toast was at 59.65%, and cream of wheat was one of the least popular items of the 4 meals I looked at, as the average patient ate just over half of the serving, 51.50%.

Finally, dinner items of mashed potatoes, roasted turkey, breadstick, pasta, and chicken parmesan all received average percentages eaten of over 65%.  The broccoli, chicken salad sandwich, and vegetable soup were not as well-received, especially the soup, which was the least popular food item of the 4 days. The average patient that received the soup ate just 51.34% of the soup.

If I were to update the menu based on the information I found, I would suggest a few changes.  One would be to offer patients the option of having the chicken salad on a sandwich bun or on a bed of lettuce. That way there will be less sandwich bun waste from the patients who enjoy the chicken salad but don’t want to eat it in on white bread.  The other suggestion would be to keep the lemon pudding and lemon merengue pie in the menu cycle, as both were well-received.  Since lemon appears to be a popular flavor, the kitchen could experiment with lemon flavoring in other items, such as lemon pepper fish, lemon gelatin, or lemon sorbet.  Thirdly, since the cream of wheat was one of the least popular items of the 16, I would experiment with different ways to spice it up.  During one of my meal rounds, a patient suggested putting sugar in it, but it could also be brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, craisins, or walnuts.  In a similar way, the broccoli could be prepared or garnished differently in order to increase the average percentage eaten.  The broccoli could be baked with a light breadcrumb mix on top or simply garnished with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.  Lastly, since the vegetable soup has the least percentage eaten of all 16 items, I would work to replace the vegetable soup with a different soup, or perhaps get rid of it altogether and replace it with a side of mixed vegetables.

Categories: Clinical Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“The Shack” Neighborhood House & Nutrition

Mary and I had the opportunity today to visit The Shack.  Since we will be giving a cooking demo and nutrition lesson to the 3rd & 4th graders next week, we thought it’d be a good idea to check out The Shack’s kids, the families it serves, the current nutrition, and assess any needs.  We spent the morning with 9 Kindergarteners, Caleb (the counselor), and 2 “JVs” or Junior Volunteers who are 7th-12th grade students.  It was fun (& draining!) to get to know the kids. I played on the playground with the kids, where we watched a mole burrow a long tunnel; played monopoly; went to the sensory garden; and learned about new snacks.

The sensory garden was pretty cool. It’s an herb garden with mint, sage, basil, and other herbs I couldn’t recognize. The kindergardeners were encouraged to use their senses (smell, touch, see) to learn about the different herbs. Then they all got to pick a basil leaf to take inside.

This is where it got tricky (I love tricking kids into trying new foods! haha): Amanda told the kids they were each going to get a cracker, spread with cream cheese, and they could put their basil leaf on top, as well as with a slice of a Zima tomato (optional):

Now, after the kids tried their little basil/tomato/cream cheese cracker, they were asked if they liked it.  The kids were big fans of it! But then…muahaha the cream cheese was not cream cheese! It was Mascarpone cheese!

Other activities the kids did was smell different spices (dill, garlic, dried onion), learn about the word “fragrant”, and try a cheese/bean/tomato dip with crackers.

I also got to speak with the woman in charge of the breakfasts and lunches for all 140-180 kids at The Shack every day.

The June menu is below:

Basically, the lunches all have to include a grain (whole grain preferably), 2 oz of protein, 3/4 cup vegetables and fruits, and a milk choice (fat free chocolate milk, or fat free skim milk).  She emphasized that she tries to meet the guidelines while still serving food that kids will like (pizza & pizza rolls are their favorite lunches). The lunch we saw today was a grilled cheese sandwich (I noticed it was made with whole wheat bread), 1/4 cup pears, 1/2 cup french fries (count as a vegetable), and their milk.  The only person I saw taking a skim milk (80 calories)  instead of a chocolate milk (130 calories) was a counselor.  But, the skim milk is still there if kids want it!  Overall, I think they do a good job of including the necessary fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, and protein, while still making the food “kid friendly.”

However, right after lunch, all the kids are allowed to have “free time” and pretty much intermingle with the other grades. They have the opportunity to play computer games inside, but the large majority of the kids were outside in 91*F weather, playing in the pool! I wish I could have jumped in there myself, to cool of! At any rate, about 30 minutes after lunch, a whistle blew and kids jumped out of the pool. I asked what that meant, and Caleb told me that every 20-30 minutes or so, they get the kids out of the pool for about 10 minutes, to calm them down (so things don’t get too rowdy, understandably). It also means the concession stand is open. 30 minutes after a complete lunch? What? Yes. Kids were lining up to buy pizza, pizza rolls, popcorn, beef sticks, ice cream, shaved ice, and more from the concession stand. Not really any healthy choices there. And there was a vending machine with soda and sugary sports drinks that kids were putting dollar bills into as well.

Now, I am not against concession stands. I buy fries, ice cream, shaved ice, and popcorn at amusement parks, fairs, and zoos myself.  But when kids know that they don’t have to eat their fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, or drink their milk, because just 30 minutes later they can have a lunch of icecream, hotdogs, and a 12oz bottle of Coca Cola each day? They’re not going to finish or fill up on their lunch.

If my nutrition dream could come true, I’d have all the soda in the vending machines replaced with waters, 100% juices, and/or diet sodas (all caffeine-free)…I’d add a fresh fruit salad (in a little dixie cup?) to the concession stand menu, and I’d delay the opening of the concession stand to at least 1.5-2 hours after lunch is served.  Just my thoughts! I think that way, kids would be more likely to eat their lunch because they know they won’t get to the concession stand in another 2 hours (as opposed to 20-30 minutes later), the sugar consumption would be reduced (no more sugary sodas), and there would be a healthy option at the concession stand, there if parents, counselors, guests, or kids are hungry.

I’ll see the kids next week, for our cooking demonstration, nutrition activity, and nutrition lesson. Pretty excited! I think it’ll go well. I mean, if I can handle kindergarteners, I can handle 3rd & 4th graders…right? 🙂

Categories: Community Nutrition, Education in the Community | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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