BSc (Hons) Nutrition students from Bournemouth University have been working with the catering team at Alderney Hospital in Poole, to develop new restaurant menus for staff and patients.
The menus at Alderney Hospital had been in place for approximately fifteen years and operated on a three week rolling cycle all year.
Students nutritionally analysed food using software at BU and whilst ensuring they met all NHS guidelines, delivered fresh, two week rotating seasonal menus.
Students interviewed both staff and patients so that they could understand likes and dislikes, developing over 250 new dishes in collaboration with the catering team.
Some of these dishes included spicy fish stew, Mediterranean vegetable macaroni and coconut milk rice pudding with mango compote.
One of the students who took part, Jennifer Hardie, said: “I found the placement a great opportunity to put into practice all the skills and knowledge I have gained in the first two years of my course.
“Something I really enjoyed was working with the chefs in the kitchen, having the chance to improve a hospital menu and use nutritional analysis software.”
Additionally, key nutritional information was visibly displayed and available to staff and patients when making their food choices in the popular on site restaurant.
Joanne Holmes, a lecturer in Nutrition, said: “This is an excellent example of our nutrition students working collaboratively with a local organisation to develop their professional skills and add value to the local community.”
The project will continue with MSc Nutrition and Behaviour students this autumn and winter, to redevelop the restaurant’s winter menus.