Probably one of our most nutrition-critical clients is our hospitals. Providing nutrition analysis for hospital menus is such an important task in need of incredible accuracy due to the types of patients that are seen in a hospital throughout any given day. The hospital cafeteria doesn’t only serve hundreds of staff members but is the primary source of nutrition for patients who have come to the hospital due to an injury, in need of surgery, those who are fighting chronic disease, and even small children who are in the middle of crucial growth periods. The list goes on and on. These hospital menus, typically created by the hospital’s nutrition staff (Registered Dietitian and team), are required to meet a number of criteria in order to properly nourish everyone under hospital care. For this reason, we tend to provide nutrition analysis for hospital menus all over the United States, too many happy nutrition staffers and their patients.
How Does Nutrition Analysis for Hospital Menus Work?
Our platform is built on a combination of 2 important tools: a nutrient calculator and an ingredient database (actually, a few ingredient databases). The ingredient databases provide the nutrition information for hundreds of thousands of ingredients that are used to create recipes that make the meals that ultimately go on the hospital menu. What this means, is that if you were to create a spaghetti dinner for your menu, the ingredient database would contain the information about the noodle type that you used (spaghetti), the tomatoes, marinara sauce, and any seasonings you added. Then, the nutrition calculator portion of the platform would calculate the ingredient information that the ingredient database supplies.
The USDA provides an ingredient database that is full of all of the general ingredients you can use to create a recipe. And the good news is, the foundation of our ingredient database is pulled directly from the USDA! But in the case that you need to add an ingredient that isn’t on that list, you have the ability to add your own ingredients to include in your nutrition analysis for your hospital menu. To add an ingredient to your “My Ingredient” database, simply have the nutrition label (or nutrition report) for the ingredient you would like to add. Once it is in your very own database in your MenuCalc account, the nutrition calculator portion of our software platform can then calculate your unique ingredient into your nutrition analysis. It’s that simple.
The nutrition analysis for hospital menus includes 2 types of nutrients: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macro-nutrients are the larger nutrients within food or ingredient and micro-nutrients are the smaller nutrients like vitamins and minerals. See below:
- Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium
- Fat-Soluble Vitamins: A, D, E & K
- Water Soluble Vitamins: B & C
The MenuCalc platform goes beyond the basics that you would see on a nutrition label to provide detailed reporting for Dietitians and other nutrition professionals who might need a deeper dive into the nutrition analysis for their hospital menu. In any given recipe you can perform a nutrition analysis to see results on the following nutrients:
Perhaps you are a Registered Dietitian for a hospital and have an overwhelming patient docket? We see this often. While it’s good to be able to use MenuCalc in an ongoing fashion, having another professional import all of your foundational recipes can be very helpful. For this reason, we have our own Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists on staff that are highly skilled to perform your nutrition analysis for your hospital menus or any other meal plans that you would like analyzed.
We know that a lot of recipes on meal plans and/or menus tend to be foundational or go-to options that are nutritionally complete and sound, and therefore reliable and easy to repurpose. If you have a list of these recipes, we can do the heavy lifting around your first major analysis and then make sure that you have the tools to perform any subsequent analysis or make changes to existing recipes once they’ve been input into your MenuCalc account. This is a task we have been happily performing for restaurants, hospitals, hotels, and even independent nutrition professionals for well over a decade. If nutrition consulting sounds like the right plan for you instead of a DIY input/nutrition analysis option — we are here to help!
Any route you would like to go is possible with MenuCalc. With simple DIY options via a nutrition calculator + ingredient database(s) combo, or by having a nutrition professional input your foundational recipes, you can’t go wrong. If you are looking for a nutrition analysis for your hospital menu, or for any menu, we’re here to help! Contact us to learn more.