Gluten Free Meals In Hospital


Tasty steak and potatoes

Tasty steak and potatoes

When you need to spend time in hospital, for whatever reason, the last thing you should have to worry about is getting safe meals. When you have food restrictions, eating anywhere that you’re not in control of the cooking and prep can be pretty scary. But hospitals should have this stuff sorted, right? We would certainly like to this so but in this crazy, gluten-filled world, unfortunately you can never take this for granted.

I spent 5 days in hospital when my daughter was born. I didn’t have much faith that the hospital would  provide me with safe, gluten free food but I was wrong; it turned out to be pretty great. I of course had my bag of just-in-case,  gluten free goodies with me but thankfully I wasn’t forced to eat protein bars for every meal during my stay.

How it works in CPMC here in San Francisco is that patients are given a menu filled with a nice variety of different breakfast, lunch and dinner options. During meals hours, you call down to the canteen and order whatever you fancy. The only mention of ‘gluten free’ on the menu was that they had gluten free toast but after a couple of phone calls from a lovely and very feisty, postpartum nurse – post delivery and drugged up, I wasn’t feeling up to my usual 20 questions – I was eating great, safely prepared, gluten free meals from then on.

Every time I ordered a meal, I double checked that my choice could be made gluten free and the canteen staff confirmed that my meal would be prepared in a clean area, using separate pots and pans, using separate utensils. Most days, I ordered chicken or salmon with rice and veggies for lunch and steak with mashed potatoes for dinner. Since I’d lost a lot of blood and was pretty anemic, I was suddenly all about the red meat! Since the baby was here it no longer had to be well done either! Yum! Breakfast was usually bacon or sausage with eggs and gluten free toast. This ended up being John’s breakfast though since I only want cereal in the morning and had brought plenty with me.

I’m very thankful that my gluten free hospital experience was a positive one, although when I saw how much was billed to my insurance company for my labour/delivery and hospital stay I should bloody well hope so!

I’d love to hear about your experiences! If you’ve spent time in hospital, were you given safe, gluten-free meals? And if so, were they any good?




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  • How wonderful that you were able to eat well at the hospital! But more importantly, Congratulations on your new baby girl!

  • My son was born in May and I was able to eat very little of the hospital food. They had gluten free toast but no separate toasters and looked at me like I was crazy when I brought it up. They had no concept of cooking foods separately at all. I was able to eat some fruit and yogurt and cheese and had my husband bring in the rest. They had a fridge and microwave that you could use so that helped. Thankfully I was only in for 2 days. I had an even trickier situation when my older daughter stayed for 7 nights after an operation and I stayed with her the whole time. I had froze a bunch of meals ahead of time and packed them in a cooler. The rooms had refrigerators and the lounge had a microwave. And I made and froze a batch of muffins for breakfasts and had canned tuna, and other prepackaged shelf stable food in my suitcase as well. It got me through the week.

  • I had a horrid hospital experience. It was right after my diagnosis, and I went in for supervision as my heart-rate and weight were entirely too low.

    The first day, they offered me a huge plate of pancakes with sugar-free syrup. Why? Because it was GLUCOSE free. They hadn’t the foggiest. Then they brought me a plate of vegetables, mostly broccoli. Next meal, they brought steak with herbed potatoes — may have been all right — but the side roll was set right atop the plate, and was not GF.

    This was in Laguna Beach, CA. I hope it’s gotten better. My mum ended up bringing loads of homemade lentils, mochi rice, and chicken soup.