Date: April 15, 2013
Regulars to Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Cobblestone Café already know about its healthful food station, offering vegetarian, low-sodium and gluten-free options. Now, thanks to a new program called “Mindful,” those choices have expanded—and boast more flavor—says Keonte Hazelton, the hospital’s retail food director. The campaign, a national effort by Sodexo food management services, enlightens patrons about making nutritious but tasty choices. Aided by elaborate signage, educated staff and creative recipes, the program steers diners toward wise picks. A photo of a Monterey black bean burger, for example, decodes each of its parts—burger portion size, tomato, avocado, cabbage, type of bun—and lists nutrition facts, including potential allergens. “Mindful” food criteria for each plate (entree, vegetable and starch) ensure that the meal has no more than 600 calories, 100 mg of cholesterol and 15 grams of fat. Hazelton urges staff to try favorites, like the chicken tortilla soup, turkey burgers and shrimp pasta. One more appetizing tidbit: Employees can sign up for a reward card. After buying 10 Mindful meals, the 11th is free.
—Judy F. Minkove