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Hospital food

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm on hospital bed rest for my pregnancy - I've been here 2 weeks already and I'm here until the baby comes (I'm 25 weeks now, so it could be a loooong time)

I seriously feel ill from the lack of nutritious food they give me. White pasta. White rice. White bread. Canned vegis/fruit. I get macaroni and cheese at least 4 times a week. I have yet to see a legume of any sort. The Tofu stirfry I as excited about had exactly one 1/2" square of oily tofu mixed in with frozen vegis on white rice. Yesterday my dinner was tomato soup and one scoop of boxed mashed potatoes.

I have some baby carrots and almonds to snack on here that my mom brought me, but even that isn't cutting it anymore. I'm dreaming of huge baby greens salads with tons of garbanzo beans and fresh vegis. Or a big bowl of vegetarian chili. Or some quinoa.... Anything...

I'm just feeling so depressed about this situation - On one hand, the hospital is the safest place for my baby and I... On the other, we may succumb to malnutrition before he is even born. OK, so I'm exaggerating a little, but I'm really starting to feel desperate.

I spoke with the nutritionist yesterday and she was no help. I don't think they really know what to do with a vegetarian, but she was definitely not open to altering the menu in anyway.


post #2 of 21
Do you have a family member who could bring a cooler to your room and keep it stocked with fresh food? It sounds like the things you are craving could be eaten cold and would be pretty easy to keep fresh if the cooler was restocked every couple of days.

I'm not a vegetarian, but at one hospital I had to stay in for a bit, I banned them from even bringing meals into my room. The smell was just so awful I couldn't stand for the tray to be near me. I tried eating the first few meals they brought but couldn't even swallow them they were so bad. So I had all of my food brought in by H instead. I ate a lot of cold grain and pasta salads and cheese because it kept well. I think once I even ordered pizza.
post #3 of 21
I'm not a veg, but I saw your post under new posts and just wanted to give a hug. I went into PTL at 24 weeks and was in the hospital for 2 weeks before being sent home on bedrest. It is really hard not having the comforts of home, especially when you are already stressed.

BTW, I had my baby at 40w1d so don't lose hope. Wishing you all the best!

(I actually enjoyed the food at my hospital. : I'm easy to please though. If I don't have to cook it, it is all good.)
post #4 of 21
How horrible! As a vegan, I can't imagine what a hospital stay (esp. a long one!) would be like. I do have friends around who would probably bring me some good healthy food every day. Do you have anyone close you follows a similar diet? If you lived near me, I'd bring you a healthy meal every day!
post #5 of 21
Definitely have food brought in for you. If need be, sneak it in. My doc told us to bring in better stuff than they serve. I think many docs do.
post #6 of 21
I agree hospital food for veggies tends to suck.

IF there is stuff that is more tolerable healthier, you may be able to press on them to give you more of that.
And IF there is a hospital cafeteria, there may actually be tastier veg options there that a visitor could pick up for you. (example: my dh works at a hospital, to 'test' their veggie food options we went there once or twice after a doctor's appointment and I was really impressed they had veg breakfast sausage and other stuff, then when staying there I not only first got brought a non-veg meal that wasn't replaced with anything but none of these items I knew they had in the hospital were even options).

You can get mini pop-top cans of garbanzo and other beans at most supermarkets. Oranges would also keep in your room, veggie jerky. The 'instant' add hot water veggie soups (like miso with tofu and black bean) might also be something you could have someone pick up for you.
I hope you figure something out!
post #7 of 21
Are you part of a church or community group that could arrange to bring you meals? Even if it's not every day, that could help to at least get some decent food in.

I'm appalled that a hospital--where I thought the idea what to get people healthy--doesn't even offer actual vegetarian food, just "meatless" dishes.

I would also consider talking to your doctor. Maybe some better food could be "prescribed" for you.

I hope you're able to work something out soon! And, best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy.
post #8 of 21
what about asking if you could bring in a mini fridge? Maybe keep it stocked with foods that you like.
post #9 of 21
I very recently had to stay in the hospital 4 days, and it was appalling. the veggies were very obviously overcooked frozen veg, and everything was either over salted or undersalted & white. They did have gardenburgers on the menu, but that would get old fast i can imagine.

I think that the pp suggestions are good - talk to your doctor since the nutritionist wasn't helpful (appalling), get a mini fridge, and find friends who will bring you food.

I ate about half of what they provided, and DH and friends brought me food. Any longer there, and I would have been physically ill from the food.

post #10 of 21
Ugh. How appalling.
I think I would:
- order out
- order a care package for myself from Food Fight grocery online
- tell family to buy some Amy's and Celentano frozen dinners and bring 2 every time they visit
- get a stash of non-perishable snacks to keep in your room (granola bars, dried fruit/nuts, dehydrated veggies, instant soups, pretzels, jar of nut butter, soy crisps, cereal, oatmeal, etc)
- ask friends/family to bring a homemade veg meal by once a week at least
- contact local veg groups to see if anyone could put together a meal delivery once a week
- write a letter to the local newspapers telling lightheartedly about your situation--maybe some generous souls will be willing to help

post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by veganf View Post
- write a letter to the local newspapers telling lightheartedly about your situation--maybe some generous souls will be willing to help
Ooh, and maybe if your story got some publicity, the "nutritionist" might be encouraged to change her opinion (and her menu)!
post #12 of 21
Hugs to you!!! I survived a month long hospital stay w/my youngest. I lived on almonds ! The hospital I stayed in actually had veggie burgers but I couldn't keep em down....yuck! Can someone bring you in a daily smoothie? Could you get a stash of energy bars? I found that stuff w/fiber in it was EXTREMELY helpful....I suffered terribly from lack of physical activity....

Hope you make it close to 40! Hang in there!
post #13 of 21
I had the same experience when I was hospitalized after I had both kids (c/s so i was here a few days each time). One place had good food but confusing rules abou wha I could order - like I could have a veggier burger OR a fruit plate, but not both.... But could add meat to that. Anyhow, it worked out and didn't seem to require a nutrionist to deal with me. And the food was actually quite good.

Second hospital - food was nasty. I'd get a plate of veggies covered in gravy and jello on the side, and chicken stock to drink. BLECH! I met with the nutritionist several times and she just seemed kind of stumped. They really didn't have any viable entree options for vegetarians, adn he kitchen didn' seem to know wha vegetarians would eat or not 9jello, gravy. and chicken broth, for instance). It ended up being easier to have my husand pop out to a restaurant and bring me food. For a long stay Id have o have a stash in my room. If here is a microwave that can be used you could get those tasty Indian dishes that are shelf-stable. You just open them onto a plae and zap them. YUMMMM. Any indian grocery store will carry them, and they taste pretty good even unheated.
post #14 of 21
i can't believe I forgot this part: they couldn't comprehend "vegetarian" as a food choice, so they finally put on my paperwork "allergies: pork, beef, chicken, fish"

whatever works.
post #15 of 21
Oh, man. Hugs to you, mama! I posted a thread a while back because I was concerned about what I would eat during my 24 hr hospital stay when the new baby is born... I couldn't imagine being on hospital bedrest!

I would do the mini-fridge or cooler thing (we plan on bringing a cooler). You can do salads (get pre-cut veggies from the grocery store) and sandwiches out of a cooler. See if someone could cut up a few blocks of tofu for you and bake it with various seasonings so you could at it to salads for protein or just snack on it. Yogurt/soy yogurt with fruit and granola is another thing that you could do easily out of a cooler.

And have people bring you food if you can. If you have a Whole Foods close by, having someone go by the salad bar for you could be a great option.

It stinks that the very places that should be promoting health set such a bad nutritional example.
post #16 of 21
Where are you? I bet some MDC mamas could scare up some care packages for you.

When I had my baby, the hospital food was abominable. Fried zucchini sticks as a vegetable? I kid you not.

My husband was in the hospital for a few days last spring. After the first day, I brought him a cooler with supplies. The things that traveled the best were the baked super firm marinated tofu slices - I made a big batch of that, a big tub of broccoli dropped into boiling water for 2 minutes, then rinsed in cold water to stop the cooking, whole wheat bread, real peanut butter and homemade jelly, and fresh fruits from home.

ETA: Baked sweet potatoes travel well, too.
post #17 of 21
how horrible

It makes me want to scream. I can't believe the 'so called pioneers of health and well being' have such a poor menu... I thought FDA already stated that we need to avoid white starches and eat more nuts and grains. This call for a new activism cause.
post #18 of 21
I would definately ask to speak to the hospital nutritionist or dietician in charge of the admitted patients. Perhaps there are alternatives or with drs orders they may be able to at least provide you with say cut up fresh fruit/juices/salads and such that you can build on. When i was in the hospital i couldnt stand the hospital food....very HIGH fatty calorie food...HELLO im in the hospital for petes sake I thought the least I'd be getting was lots of salads,fruits/veggies. Everything was covered with gravy or butter...YUCK! After I explained my situation and the dr nagged the dietician i was able to order a larger size/portion of salads/fruits and veggies and along with stuff like healthy sandwiches and soups my DH brought in was able to make it palatable.
post #19 of 21

I've been hospitalized a few times, twice on a clear liquid diet. I've also dealt with caring for my GM and my Mom while they were hospitalized.

You don't have to settle for what is offered on the menu to circle. You can write in alternatives. A PB&J on WW is almost always an option. If it just says "bread" write "whole wheat" then circle it.

There is usually a kitchenette on each ward. There should a fridge and microwave. Just have family or friends stock it with well labeled foods. When my mom was in the hospital I stocked it with snacks for her. There is also usually some snacks provided by the hospital in the fridge (ice cream, etc.)

You can order in. Yes, I have ordered pizza while in a hospital (obviously not while on a clear liquid diet, but YK.) Just ask the nurses which pizza parlor they usually order from.

Have people bring you food. During GMs last hospitalization the only thing she would eat were french fries I brought in to her.
post #20 of 21
Honestly, even the meat options in the hospital are nutritionally lacking. Hospital food, in general, is utterly bad, IMO. I eat vegan, my partner eats meat, and when he was in the hospital, the food was just awful. It certainly wasn't helping him to get better.

I brought him meals every single day, as a result.

Do you have anyone who could bring meals to you? Even a good meal, twice a week, is bound to help. And some things you can keep in a cooler or mini fridge even (if they allow that) and just reach over and prepare it yourself (without getting out of bed).

Apples and oranges keep really well - a big basket of those could help for snacks. Green peppers also keep well.
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