During your stay on Birch ward, your nutritional plan is one of the most important aspects of treatment. This information has been produced with patients to explain what your meal plan will look like whilst you are staying with us.
What are the meal times on Birch ward
- 8.30am – Breakfast
- 10.30am – Snack
- 12.30pm – Lunch
- 2.30pm – Snack
- 5pm – Evening meal
- 7pm – Additional supper (if needed)
- 9pm – Supper (everyone)
- 10.30pm – Additional supper (if needed)
We ask that you meet in the central area (hub) five minutes before each meal. This will help the meal start on time and makes sure you receive the support you need.
Why have I been given a meal plan?
A meal plan provides a structured approach to eating at set times, which is important for people who have eating difficulties.
Your meal plan will:
- help you restore a regular eating pattern
- help you meet your nutritional needs
- provide a balance of key nutrients to re-nourish you
- provide a structured plan of eating times
- allow you to choose meals and snacks in advance to reduce the number of food decisions you need to make each day
- encourage you to try an increased variety of foods during your stay on the ward
- help you to prepare yourself for the next meal.
How will my meal plan meet my nutritional needs?
Your meal plan has been designed by the dietetic team to meet your nutritional needs at different stages of your care. This includes:
- micronutrients such as iron and calcium
- fun foods and social foods.
What do the meal plans look like?
Plans are based on four meals and two snacks per day along with nutritious drinks.
There are seven meal plans that have been carefully designed to meet your nutritional needs at different stages of your recovery.
The meal plan stages are identified by the colours of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)
What happens if the meal plans don’t meet my individual needs?
If a standard meal plan does not meet your individual nutritional needs a ‘white plan’ may be used for a short time, for example if you are transitioning from a nasogastric tube or you are on a discharge pathway.
Will I be able to choose what I want to eat at meal times?
The menus are varied and there are elements of choice. However, choices are limited as when the brain is in starvation it can be very difficult to make decisions and people can feel overwhelmed.
At each meal and snack you will be given a choice of at least two options to provide flexibility and variation.
How and when will I choose my meals and snacks?
Menus are designed so you can choose meals and snacks in advance. You will be given a menu card for the meal plan appropriate to your needs each Tuesday. This will feature a seven day menu.
To complete your menu, please fill in your name and date on each page and put a tick next to your meal and snack choices.
Completed menus should be placed in the menu box no later than 8am on Thursday morning.
The nursing team will provide a copy of your choices to the kitchen and will give one back to you.
Your new menu choices will start on Monday.
Once you move into the activities of daily living (ADL) dining room, the way you choose meals and snacks may change. This will be discussed with you at the time.
What happens if I need additional support to complete my menu card?
Please alert staff if you require any additional support to complete your menus.
We can print these in large print or your first language (on request).
What happens if I can’t manage my meal or snack?
We will support you and encourage you to finish all of your meals and snacks.
If you are unable to complete a full meal or snack this will need to be replaced with oral nutritional supplement (ONS). This is to make sure your nutritional needs are being met and your physical health is not compromised.
Nursing staff will follow the guidelines below when providing replacement ONS for missed meals and snacks:
Lunch and tea
If you are receiving full portion meals:
- If less than half of the meal is eaten, you will be provided with a replacement amount of ONS, equivalent to the full portion of the meal
- If more than half of the meal is eaten (but not fully completed), you will be provided with a replacement amount of ONS, equivalent to half portion of the meal
If you are receiving half portion meals:
- if any amount of the meal is missed, you will be provided with a replacement amount of ONS, equivalent to the full (half) portion of the meal
Breakfast, supper and snacks
If any amount of the meal or snack is missed, you will be provided with a replacement amount of ONS, equivalent to the full portion of the meal or snack.
Frequently asked questions
I am vegan or vegetarian – will I be able to follow this lifestyle choice?
Yes. We have vegetarian options available at each meal. Vegan options are also available following discussion and agreement from your consultant. If possible, please make sure that that Birch ward staff are aware before your admission.
I have a food intolerance or allergy – will you be able to cater for this?
Yes. We can cater for all medically diagnosed food allergies or intolerances. If possible, please make sure Birch ward staff are aware before your admission.
I have looked at the menus and on some days I don’t like any options.
The menus have enough variation to make sure you are able to find a choice you can accept. However, if you feel you are unable to find a choice you can tolerate your dietitian will speak with you about your dislikes and we may be able to adjust your menu choices for your top three genuine dislikes.
What if I don’t choose something from the menu?
A member of the team will support you to make a choice. If you’re unable to do so we will make a choice for you.
My diet plan doesn’t look healthy?
The meal plans have been carefully designed by dietitians to meet your nutritional needs right now. Nutritional needs of a malnourished person are different to the general population. Once you have restored weight and have flexible eating your nutritional needs may change.
I don’t think I can meet my five a day with the menu choices
Achieving five portions of fruit and veg is not a priority at present. Once you become less malnourished then the meal plans will change to include more fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are available for taste and enjoyment on your meal plan as an addition.
What if I get hungry?
If you are hungry please speak to the team as we can support you to add more in to your diet if it is appropriate.
I’ve written a message to the dietitian or chef on my meal plan or meal card
Your menu cards and meal plan are not the place to write message. If you need to see a member of staff please book an appointment.
|Date last updated:||21/01/2019|
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