Healthy Food

Dining

The Drive to Create Better Dining Experiences for Hospital Patients

Hospital food deserves to be memorable. Hospital patients and visitors often hate visiting hospitals for a number of reasons, but the cafeteria can help alleviate some of those negative impressions. Organizations should create dining experiences that satisfy people’s hunger and create a sense of comfortability during a patient’s stay. 

Peddler’s Son is one of Arizona’s premier wholesale food distributors. For over 30 years we’ve provided healthcare centers, schools, restaurants, and caterers with quality wholesale ingredients to elevate their menus and drive better dining experiences. But, how does one exactly invigorate the dining experience in a hospital? Read our article below to learn more.

Hospital Patients Need Food That Feeds AND Heals

Not only does food nourish our hunger, but it can play an important role in the healing process. It has the potential to heal our wounds, gain our strength back, and avoid nasty infections. According to Hospital & Health Networks Magazine, nutrition intervention can reduce avoidable readmissions by 28% and the patient’s overall stay. 

Incorporating menu items that work with people’s medical conditions is imperative. For instance, someone who is experiencing cardiovascular disease will need heart-healthy items. Somebody who lives with diabetes will need low-carb menu items. Additionally, post-surgery patients may need to be on a liquid diet. As a healthcare center, it is important to meet these needs.

Up Your Game with Home-Cooked Meals

Much like airplane food, hospital food is often associated with being of poor quality. But, it doesn’t have to be. As we mentioned, incorporating menu items that meet people’s medical conditions is important. Another element to that is adding fresh ingredients and delicious menu items that not only promote recovery but satisfy the soul. 

Instead of reheating items or bringing in frozen items, why not incorporate fresh fruits and veggies. We all know how fresh items can elevate a dish. Why shouldn’t you expect that from your hospital food? St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is reimagining the hospital dining experience by offering home-cooked meals that not only help treat patients but actually look and taste good.

Some of their menu items include:

  • Naan paratha
  • Enchiladas
  • Korean-style chicken stew

And much more

Collaborate With Your Hospital Patients and Staff

If you’re not sure where to begin on improving your cafeteria menu, it’s always good to get feedback from your community. Your staff will likely eat in the cafeteria for lunch and probably have some ideas on what items can be added to the menu. Additionally, hospital patients may have some feedback as well.

Work with dietitians and staff to brainstorm menu items that excite your community. They’ll be able to evaluate the healthiness and costs associated with adding them to your menu. Additionally, dietitians can act as a liaison between the hospital and patient dining staff to resolve any nutritional concerns.

Improve Hospital Patient Room Delivery Service

Another important aspect for patients in a hospital setting is the room delivery service. Hospital stays can be stressful and unpleasant, partially due to patients having no control of their schedule. That is why many facilities are incorporating exciting hotel-style room service programs to help alleviate some of the unease of scheduling. The option to have a more flexible way to order food on your own schedule helps facilitate patient satisfaction. 

Reimagine Hospital Food with Peddler’s Son

For over 25 years, Peddler’s Son has been one of Arizona’s top food distributors providing quality produce & provisions, service, and delivery. To serve the best food to your customers, you need the best ingredients and products. We work with a variety of schools, hospitals, and restaurants to ensure their meals meet the quality standards of their chefs and customers. Contact us today to learn how our products and services will enhance your dishes.

5 Ways to Cook Delicious Chicken

5 Ways to Cook Delicious Chicken

Although extremely common, chicken is also one of the most versatile dishes in the world, which makes it a cooking staple. There are plenty of ways one can cook chicken from roasted, grilled, baked, fried, or poached. No matter how you choose to cook chicken, there are a variety of ways to highlight the rich flavors that come from poultry. Whether you’re feeling adventurous or are wanting to switch up your menu, here are five ways to cook delicious chicken.

Roasted Chicken

Even though roasting chicken is one of the easiest ways to prepare chicken, it is also one of the most flavorful dishes your guests can enjoy. This does not mean you cannot get creative when roasting chicken though, Bon Appètit’s double-garlic roast chicken with onion gravy provides a fun recipe that can be enjoyed year-round.

Grilled Chicken

This summertime favorite provides plenty of ways for you to grill chicken. While all parts of the chicken can be grilled, even the whole chicken, chicken breasts are usually the go-to as they tend to cook a lot faster than other parts of the chicken.

Williams Sonoma lays out an exquisite grilled chicken recipe with Vietnamese roots that is also gluten free.

Baked Chicken

When baking chicken, drumsticks, thighs, and breasts are the preferred parts of the chicken to use. Always make sure to grease your baking dish with plenty of cooking oil to prevent your chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pan before placing a single layer of chicken on the baking pan. 

Tasty supplies a simple alfredo chicken bake recipe that can be enjoyed in less than an hour.

Fried Chicken

When cooking fried chicken there are two things to always keep in mind, make sure oil temperature stays between 325 and 400 F, make sure you have a meat thermometer, and pay close attention to the batter as this can make or break your dish. To keep it simple you should always dip your chicken in flour, then eggs, and then flour again. Although if you feel like experimenting, you can try adding baking powder into the mix for an extra crunchy layer. 

Poached Chicken

Poached chicken results in one of the healthiest dishes you can make, as there is little to no fat in the cooking process. The key to achieving a perfectly poached chicken is patience, as this is a low and slow cooking method as described by The Modern Proper.

You start off by placing the boneless, skinless chicken in a shallow but wide pan and add water to the pan until the pieces of chicken are completely covered. Once the chicken is fully submerged you should bring the water to a medium heat, you want to keep the temperature between 170-180 F. Once this has been reached you can reduce the heat and cover the pan. Check in about 10 to make sure it is done and let the chicken rest for a few minutes in its broth to absorb even more moisture, resulting in extra juicy poached chicken.

Peddler’s Son Is Here For You

As a family-owned wholesale produce distributor since 1988, Peddler’s Son is here to help your business grow. We provide exceptional customer service through transparency and integrity while building valuable relationships with Arizona organizations with the best quality fresh produce and provisions. Contact us today to learn more about becoming a customer.

5 Reason the Quality of School Food Matters

5 Reasons the Quality of School Food Matters

The absence of nutritional school cafeteria food has always been the brunt of jokes and has sparked controversy over the quality of food being served to kids across the country. Many of the meals provided consist of overly processed foods and studies link the need for healthier options as being critical to children’s health. However, there has been a dramatic shift in the quality of food served today. 

Through advocacy to ensure that children are provided with healthier options and to end childhood obesity, the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” was a cornerstone of the “Let’s Move!” initiative. This act established multiple policies to improve the quality of food and beverages served to youth across the country and strengthen nutrition standards through many federal food assistance programs

that had been established decades ago.  

The meals provided to students through these Federal school nutrition and assistance programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state agencies, by reimbursing schools that serve healthy meals to students. The USDA supports domestic nutrition programs and American agricultural producers by procuring fresh products for use in schools and other institutions. Programs exist to help improve food at schools, and some are taking bold, inspiring steps. Parents, educators, students, and everyone can take action to help students have access to healthier foods. 

Healthy Nutritional Guidelines for School Kids

School-age children (ages 6 to 12) need healthy foods and nutritious snacks. They have a steady but slow rate of growth and usually eat 4 to 5 times a day including snacks. Many food habits of what they like or dislike is determined before age 12. Family, friends, and the media affect kid’s food choices and eating habits. Eating healthy after-school snacks is important, too, as they may contribute up to one-fourth of the total calorie intake for the day. 

Grains

The recommended amount of grains is 6-11 servings per day. These foods are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or other cereal grain products. Examples include whole-wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal. Aim for mostly whole-grains.

Vegetables

Eat Your Veggies! The recommendation for vegetables is 3-5 serving per day. A variety of colorful vegetables, including dark green, red, and orange vegetables, legumes (peas and beans), and starchy vegetables.

Fruits

Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. The recommended amount of fruits is 2-4 servings of fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut up, or pureed. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children age 7 to 18 should limit juice to 8 ounces or 1 cup of juice per day. 

Dairy

Not all kids can consume dairy products due to allergies or lactose intolerance. However, there are some alternatives such as Almond Milk, Oat Milk, and others to choose from. The recommended 2-3 servings of dairy can be yogurt, cottage cheese, or natural cheese. Focus on fat-free or low-fat products, as well as those that are high in calcium.

Protein

Choose low-fat or lean meats of 2-3 servings of 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish per day. Vary protein routine such as peas, eggs, nuts, seeds, and beans. Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of protein, however, several kids have food allergies, which is why it’s important for schools to provide healthy protein choices and alternatives. 

5 Reasons the Quality of School Food Matters

There are a lot of educational resources out there promoting the reasons why a healthy diet is a necessary preventative health measure to improve and manage health, which is why parents, students, and schools should care about school food reform. We know that healthy eating is directly correlated to health and the need to commit to healthy food at school matters.

  1. Nutrition and Health

Studies show children who are hungry or undernourished are unable to focus and have a difficult time learning. Swapping processed foods for real ingredients that aren’t loaded with saturated fat and sugar ensures kids are getting key nutrients their bodies need to grow. 

  1. Academic Performance

Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals are shown to diminish cognitive abilities and mental concentration. School lunches that are high in fruits, vegetables, and whole foods provide an abundance of vitamins and minerals, which can lead to better grades and test scores. 

  1.  Improved Behavior

Studies show that chemical additives in processed food and high levels of sugar in diets have a negative impact on children’s behavior. Sugar by far is the biggest factor that takes place in this category. The need to remove sugar from school campuses made national headlines when the USDA ruled to remove vending machines that dispensed sodas and junk foods in order to promote healthier food in schools. 

  1. Reducing Obesity

Obesity rates among children nearly tripled from the 1970s. Data from 2015–2016 show that nearly 1 in 5 school-age children and young people aged 6 to 19 years in the United States are obese. Research shows that the availability of healthier school lunches has already improved kids’ eating habits. One study found that offering more variety led to healthier choices; each additional fruit option was associated with a 9.3% increase in the number of fruit servings selected by students

  1.  Better Habits for the Future

Researchers say that the eating patterns kids develop early in life typically follow them into adulthood. Approximately one-third of the food children consume is at school. For this reason, it is important that children have a daily balanced diet, either through packed healthy snacks and lunches or through a healthy meal plan.

The Future of School Food

There is no doubt that the changes implemented to improve the quality of school food through USDA guidelines and other programs advocating for healthier food for school-age kids has been dramatic. However, there are still challenges. With environmental changes, social and economic challenges, and shrinking resources it’s important that food nutrition awareness continues. Empowering parents, students, and schools can be a key component to achieving sustainable nutrition for all. 

Peddler’s Son Is Here For You

As a family-owned wholesale produce distributor since 1988, Peddler’s Son is here to help your business grow. We provide exceptional customer service through transparency and integrity while building valuable relationships with Arizona organizations with the best quality fresh produce and provisions. Contact us today to learn more about becoming a customer.

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