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Healthy Hospital Program

Plant-based options should be integrated into your regular inpatient and cafeteria menus.

Bringing plant-based options onto your menu offerings is easy. You probably have many already, review your current patient menu for existing options. Is there a substantive option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? If there is a gap? Perhaps you are using recipes that could easily be modified to create a meal that would satisfy different preferences.

Make the plant-based option the primary option when sharing menu offerings with patients to ensure they know the most healthful option that is available to them. Some simple options to consider are pasta with marinara, oatmeal made with water or nondairy milk, roasted vegetables with hummus on a sub roll or in a wrap, or our simple Protein Power Three Bean Chili recipe that is scaled up for use in institutions.


  • Ask your food service provider about plant-based recipes that are available in your system.
  • Hospitals can use our tested recipes (insert hyperlink to recipe portal), free of charge. 
  • Replace animal products in your facilities' existing recipes with high-protein, plant-based foods like beans, lentils, and tofu. 
  • Make the plant-based option the primary option. When sharing menu offerings with patients, be sure to let them know about the plant-based options first.
  • Lower cancer risks by eliminating processed meats.

Need help? Contact us at nutrition [at] (nutrition[at]pcrm[dot]org) with your inquiries.

Lower Cancer Risk by Eliminating Processed Meat

The American Medical Association and American College of Cardiology have called for elimination of processed meats, such as hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and deli meats, because of their contribution to heart disease and cancer. A 2020 Patient Satisfaction Survey found that a large majority of patients supported excluding processed meats from hospital menus for cancer prevention. 

As you remove processed meats from the menu, consider new ideas. For breakfast, instead of bacon and eggs, consider a sweet potato and black bean hash. For lunch, instead of a BLT, how about roasted red pepper hummus and roasted veggies on rye bread? Here’s an excellent resource to help you.

You may find that you need to make the change in stages and offer plant-based replacements that are as similar as possible to the original product used plant-based meat to help ease the transition. Work with your dietitian and food supply company to find what works and is available. 

Dining Services Resources

Free assets to help bring plant-based options to your hospital.