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Oct 7, 2010 11:40 AM

What food can I bring when visiting a patient oin the hospital?

No hot food because the drive is too long, nothing messy or very smelly and ideally something that will keep ok at room temperature for a while. Cheese and hard rolls? any ideas?

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  1. For you to eat or for the patient? It makes a difference.

    2 Replies
      1. I'm sure rules may vary, but most Hospitals frown on (Prohibit) food being brought in from the outside to patients....Maybe check with them first. HTH

        1. Well, it's not so much that the hospitals frown on outside food as it is that for many patients there are dietary restrictions. I'm a retired RN, and it's difficult to say that a patient who normally eats regular food might not be having a test tomorrow that calls for only clear liquids tonight, or that the doctors have just decided that a restricted sodium diet is what's called for now, Even asking the patient isn't the answer - they may not be aware of either their current restrictions or what is about to occur. You can call the nurses station, and that's what I'd do.

          (Or you can feed the nurses. Always appreciated, considering hospital food. Be sure to have a second container marked "For The Night Shift" - they always get the short end of the candy box.)

          5 Replies
          1. re: lemons

            Not sure that the nurses could tell much since food restrictions/modifications for medical purposes would be covered by HIPAA. Best course is probably a combination - ask the patient to ask the nurses.

            1. re: mpjmph

              When I visited a friend in the hospital, I offered to bring lunch the next day. She requested a few items, and I asked the nurse if they would be ok. The short answer was that for my friend's condition it was ok, but in certain cases food from home is appreciated for patients since it helps them eat and gain weight or get stronger.

              1. re: mpjmph

                I certainly acknowledge that HIPAA is a pain in the wazoo, and some folks could easiy decline even that info. But instead of asking "What kind of diet is Mr. Stinger in 2401-B on?" I'd ask, "I was wondering if it was okay for Mr. Stinger in 2401-B to have oatmeal raisin cookies. Would that be allowed?" Even if the answer is "No, he's fiber-restricted," you might get another possibility like "But he can have hard candy and gum." (Extreme example, I admit.)

                1. re: lemons

                  Good point, I had not thought of asking yes/no about specific foods. I thought you were suggesting the former, broader question.

              2. re: lemons

                When my father (who enjoyed fine dining and also had a major sweet tooth) was in the hospital, we were actually encouraged to bring him food, including sweets. He was naturally slender, so when in the hospital his weight loss became a major concern. They had tried to supplement his diet with Ensure, but he thught that was just as bad as the foul-smelling institutional food they were serving.

                So we always brought him good food, chocolates and bakery items.

                As stated, it all depends on the patient's dietary restrictions/needs. We were lucky that the cancer center he was in was proactive in letting us know any and all food was allowed.