Dining at Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) has changed-and for the better! As an organization committed to the health and well-being of the community, it was important to Director of Nutrition Services Susan Larcom to create an initiative that offered associates, patients and visitors healthier dining options.
“Our vision is to provide food prepared from local and fresh ingredients that promotes health and wellness, and is served with passion and creativity. We aspire to be a role model to our guests and the community,” said Larcom.
But this healthier initiative doesn’t inhibit delicious tasting food.
“If we want to encourage people to choose healthier options, we need to make the food taste good.”
To do this, SMMC joined in partnership with the PB&J Restaurant Group enlisting the services of Executive Chef Paul Clinton.
The Café now features a signature sandwich of the day, more nutritious grab-and-go items, daily chef-made pizzas, local fruits and vegetables and an upgraded “stoplight” salad bar that encourages portion control. Additionally, the Café has implemented eco-friendly disposable products to replace the previously used Styrofoam containers.
In addition to healthier meals, the Café is offering better quality snack choices.
“We are focused on minimally-processed foods on our menus. Our Café offers many Good Nature Family Farm items including local cheese, milk, honey, nuts, granola and more. We also purchase from local bakeries.”
SMMC has also made the switch from a national coffee brand to local Parisi organic free-trade coffee to better serve associates, patients and visitors of SMMC all while supporting the Kansas City community.
Larcom emphasized the importance of SMMC’s food as an extension and implementation of the CREATION Health program. Nutrition, the eighth aspect of CREATION Health, is a vital component to both mental and physical health. The Café continues to set goals to improve its nutritional value.
For more information, call the ASK-A-NURSE Resource Center at 913-676-7777.