Vital boost for Wairarapa Hospital menu

By Hayley Gastmeier hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz -
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Wairarapa Hospital is adding more healthy food to its menu. PHOTO/FILE
Wairarapa Hospital is adding more healthy food to its menu. PHOTO/FILE

More wholegrains, vegetables and fruit will soon be on the menu for visitors and staff at Wairarapa Hospital.

The Wairarapa District Health Board in June will carry out phase three of implementing the Healthy Food & Beverage Guidelines.

Wairarapa DHB voted to adopt the guidelines last year, along with Capital and Coast DHB and Hutt Valley DHB.

The DHBs formed the 3DHB Implementation Group, which has been working over the past 12 months to put the guidelines in place across all their sites.

This has required "a significant amount of work with the food and beverage retailers and their suppliers", said an update report, which was tabled at Tuesday's Wairarapa DHB meeting.

It said the first two phases were successfully put in place.

Phase one, in October last year, removed all sugary drinks from DHB sites.

In January, phase two involved ensuring packaged snack foods only containing less than 800 kilojoules per packet were available at all points of sale, including vending machines.

Since then the confectionary and fried snack foods available have also been limited.

When phase three is carried out in June, food available atthe DHB's sites will be dominated by wholegrains, vegetables and fruit.

Food options will have to be prepared with minimal fat, salt and sugar, and beverage choices will always include water.

The remaining three phases to fully adopt the guidelines are scheduled to take place before the end of the year.

These will involve the complete removal of deep fried foods and artificially sweetened drinks.

Portion sizes of food such as muffins, slices and scones, will also be reduced.

The guidelines apply to food and drink for sale at hospitals, any fundraisers associated with the hospitals, and any gifts offered to guest speakers or formal visitors on behalf of the hospitals.

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