Dietitian Helps Pediatric Patients, Families and Hospital Staff Eat Healthy

Dietitian Helps Pediatric Patients, Families and Hospital Staff Eat Healthy

Goodbye, hospital food. Hello, farm-to-table practices.

As director of Culinary and Clinical Nutrition Services for UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, Megan Waltz, MBA, and her team support the organization's mission of advancing health through science and social responsibility. 

Career path: A few years into my public health career, I took part in a pediatric pulmonary training program at UW Health. I fell in love with hospital work. But when patients complained about the unhealthy food in the hospital, I made a vow to them (and to myself) if I had the opportunity to change it, I would. That opportunity came up, and I moved into a management role with the charge to make the food healthier and more affordable for patients and staff.

Farm to table: We have a large map of the state at the entrance to the café that highlights where the food we serve comes from. We host meet and greets with local farmers so customers can meet the people who grow their food. We also do tastings so customers can try before they buy.

Taking requests: We are always willing to make a special dish or pick up a special food item for patients. We don't want patients to leave feeling like they ate hospital food! We want them to leave knowing the food they ate helped them heal.

Favorite dish to cook for yourself: Omelettes. You can make them so many ways, they are always yummy, and they are an economical source of protein.

Favorite dish to cook for others: Red wine poached pears stuffed with mascarpone cheese. It sounds fancy, but it's really easy.

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