8 July 2019

Why this project?
25 to 40 per cent of patients are malnourished during hospitalization. This entails a high risk of complications. An optimal intake of certain nutrients can ensure a stabilization or improvement of the condition of patients. Eating behavior and thus the general health of patients can be improved by offering them healthier, more attractive and personalized food.

What does the project entail?
FoodforCare is an innovative nutritional formula for healthcare institutions. All dishes are specially developed with fresh and healthy ingredients and contain important nutrients that are important for the individual patient and her recovery. Patients are offered small, tasty and tempting dishes during five to seven moments during the day. The patient has a choice of at least three different dishes per round. In an ideal situation, a conversation takes place between the patient and the nutrition assistant. Jointly they arrive at a choice for a dish. The taste, odor, nutritional values and portion size are tailored to the needs of each patient. Personal preferences, specific diets, consistency and food allergies are also taken into account for each patient. The range consists of a wide range of fresh dishes: shakes, smoothies, salads, soups, snacks, desserts and a hot meal. The effect of the concept has been scientifically demonstrated by physician-researcher Dorian Dijxhoorn of the Radboud UMC.

I decided to completely turn the concept around and focus on experience and the aesthetics of the food

What is the contribution from and to the creative industry?
Food designer Annelies Hermsen worked out the concept concretely. "I first visited the ward for a few days to have a good look around and to speak with patients, doctors and nutrition assistants. As a sort of fly on the wall. What do they encounter? I soon noticed that when the cart of food drove into the corridor, an air spread that even a healthy person would not prefer. When a large plate of food was placed in front of someone, I noticed that some patients were reluctant to eat it. That's why I soon knew that the whole cart had to be removed."

"I decided to completely turn the concept around and focus on experience and the aesthetics of the food. The food had to look nice and attractive. Of course, it must also be tasty and contain the right nutrients. That's how I turned the formula to break through the set patterns. When I developed the first concept, the hospital carried out a pilot study based on a baseline measurement. It became clear that patients appreciated the new food concept substantially more than regular meals. We have further developed the concept, based on those results.”

And what now?
The FoodforCare concept is constantly being developed. For example, to optimize the protein content and to replace animal protein with vegetable protein. In addition to the Radboudumc, various healthcare institutions are using the concept at this moment. Such as a rehabilitation clinic and a care hotel, to improve the eating behavior and thus the overall health of their patients.