Guiding Stars, the nation’s leading independent nutrition guidance program, is partnering with VM to help hospital staff and guests make more nutritious choices when dining in the medical center’s cafeteria.
Virginia Mason is the first foodservice provider on the West Coast to implement the Guiding Stars at-a-glance food rating system that helps diners quickly and easily identify foods that offer a better nutritional value. The program is part of the hospital’s comprehensive Health and Sustainable Food Practice Pledge designed to improve the overall health and well-being of patients, staff, visitors and the surrounding community.
“Virginia Mason has been widely recognized as a premiere health care center across many clinical disciplines, and adding Guiding Stars to its foodservice program is a clear indication of the priority the center places on holistic health,” said Sue Till, client services manager with Guiding Stars. “We’re very pleased to have them as our first West Coast hospital partner and we look forward to working together to help people live healthier.”
The Guiding Stars system rates the nutritional value of every item in the Virginia Mason cafeteria, including hot and cold prepared foods, salad bar, grab-and-go items and beverages. Each item is then labeled according to its value: one Guiding Star is good, two Guiding Stars is better and three Guiding Stars is best. All items are evaluated using a patented algorithm based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other national evidence-based nutrition policies.
“We all know that eating healthy is so important, but when you’re pressed for time or concerned about a loved one, it can be difficult to take time to figure out which items are the best choice for you,” said Virginia Mason Food & Nutrition Director Jerry Roundy. “While we always make it a priority to provide healthy options, the Guiding Stars program adds an extra layer of user-friendliness, especially for those with specific dietary concerns.”
For more information about the Guiding Stars program, visit www.guidingstars.com.