Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Children's Hospital earns highest recognition for healthy food environment

The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment is proud to recognize Children’s Hospital Colorado as the first hospital in the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact to achieve platinum status, the highest recognition level, for its exceptional efforts in developing a healthy food environment for its patients and their families, visitors and staff. Compact hospitals contribute to Governor John Hickenlooper’s goal of making Colorado the “healthiest state” by promoting healthier food and beverage choices and providing breastfeeding support to new families.  

All Compact hospitals agree to offer and promote healthier food and beverage options in their cafeterias, vending machines and patient menus and follow best practices in breastfeeding support to new moms. Compact hospitals agree to work across four improvement areas: Healthy Food, Healthy Beverage, Marketing and Breastfeeding Support. Children’s Hospital Colorado has met the highest standards in each of these areas.  

Children’s Hospital Colorado, a founding partner of the Compact, recognized early on the importance of cultivating a hospital environment that supports the development of sustainable healthy habits for the children and families it serves and the health professionals it employs. Since joining the Compact, Children’s Hospital Colorado has implemented a health-focused cafeteria station called the Light Side; new, healthier kid’s menu options; and expanded salad bar options. Children’s also revised its room service menu and implemented a stoplight system of green, red and yellow labels with clear, easy-to-read nutritional information to help customers identify healthier food options.   

Children’s implemented other initiatives to achieve achieve platinum status, including:
  • Decreased stock of sugar-sweetened beverages from 40 percent to 20 percent
  • Increased the availability of healthier pre-packaged or snack foods by 40 percent
  • Increased the cost of less healthy food and beverage products and decreased the cost of healthy products to provide incentives to choose healthier food.
  • Promoted and discounted only food and beverages that met Compact health criteria

“Children’s Hospital Colorado sets an example of what it means to be a whole health provider by cultivating  an environment that promotes health for patients, visitors and staff,” says Dr. Larry Wolk Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, We commend Children’s Hospital Colorado on its achievement and for leading the way for Compact hospitals.”

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