March 21, 2019 – Today I had the pleasure visiting Food Services during both the day and night shifts. This talented team provides delicious food options around the clock for patients, parents and staff in locations across our main campus.

In the well-organized store room

Hair net firmly in place, I began my first visit in the kitchen with my hosts Mary Beth Schlichtholz and Henry Dy. The kitchen is divided into two “lanes,” one preparing food for patient care and the other for staff and visitors. There is a lot of food coming out of this kitchen — hundreds of meals are prepared every day, many of them from specialized menus designed for patients with restricted diets. This team takes pride in providing room service from 7 a.m. to midnight every day not only to patients, but to parents and staff in the Rose, Hahn, Nelson and Acute Care Pavilions.

In the well-organized store roomOf course, some of our smallest patients can’t eat solid food, and this team prepares about 60 different varieties of formula every day, including made-to-order smoothies. My tour of the kitchen took me through the food preparation areas, the freezer and the store room where food is kept fresh, at the correct temperature and precisely organized. This team also offers a variety of catering options for internal functions, with food options and presentations that rival fine hotels! In addition to the Café, Food Services operates the Seaside Café in the EOB, the Grab & Go in the ACP and the Coffee Kiosk located between the Rose Pavilion and the ACP.

Caught red-handed in the candy storage room!

I also learned that, in partnership with the Center for Healthier Communities, Food Services recently completed a major project to produce a series of videos that teaches about healthy eating and shows how to prepare simple, nutritious meals. The videos are available in both English and Spanish, and feature many of our chef’s recipes! Check it out at this link: https://www.rchsd.org/healthyconnections.

During both visits, I ended my tour in a conference room where the team had prepared fresh empanadas for me (my mother’s Chilean recipe, no less!) and chocolate-covered strawberries. So delicious!

Hanging out with night shift team members

We then played a quiz game with some interesting facts about this team. For example, Food Services

  • served 14,295 patient, guest and staff trays last month;
  • serves 30 gallons of chicken tortilla soup on an average Thursday; and
  • serves about 370 cups of coffee on an average day.

Enjoying the empanadas!

The job of feeding our patient families and staff is critical. After all, for kids to be able to heal, they need nutritious meals. And this team makes sure they are providing healthy, tasty meals that will nourish their bodies and help them along the road to recovery.