Supporting Health Care Staff With Family Meals During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jennifer Utter*, Sally McCray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Family meals provide a unique opportunity for families to eat well and engage positively with each other. In response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, a new initiative to support health care staff to share healthy meals with their families was developed. At a hospital in Queensland, Australia, dietetic staff collaborated with the on-site food service retailer to develop and offer a range of hot meals that staff could take home for their families at the end of their day. The meals were nutritious, reasonably priced, and designed to feed a family of four. The dietetic staff worked with the hospital marketing department and staff health and wellness program to promote the initiative. Over the 3 months that it has been running, nearly 300 meals have been purchased. Anecdotal comments from the food service retailer highlighted that the initiative was a good thing to do for staff to maintain a positive reputation of the business. The staff evening meal initiative is a healthy, affordable, educational, and socially engaging alternative to takeaway meals and food delivery by app, and it is mutually beneficial for health care staff and the on-site food retailer. The initiative also offers a unique opportunity for promoting nutrition and social engagement during stressful times.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2021

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