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Henry Ford Health licenses hundreds of their hospital food recipes overseas in wellness push

More than 500 recipes, 200 of which are certified HeartSmart, will be modified to fit indian cuisine and sold in corporate food courts, system says.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

Consumers in New Delhi choose healthy options from recipes supplied by Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Photo: Henry Ford Health System (PRNewsFoto/Henry Ford Health System)Consumers in New Delhi choose healthy options from recipes supplied by Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Photo: Henry Ford Health System (PRNewsFoto/Henry Ford Health System)

Henry Ford Health System has licensed hundreds of its hospital food recipes in India's New Dehli National Capital Region, the system announced late last week. The NCR is the country's largest urban center, and the move is part a larger health and wellness effort.

Henry Ford has licensed more than 500 recipes, 200 of them having been certified as HeartSmart. They will be modified to fit with indian cuisine, and will be sold in corporate food courts, with additional opportunities possible in venues such as schools and home delivery.

"We use these recipes in our hospitals every day. They're healthy. They've all been given a great deal of care and thought," said Dr. Scott Dulchavsky, CEO of the Henry Ford Innovation Institute, "It's a simple but very valuable way to share our mission of health and well-being."

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According to Henry Ford Health, lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease are rampant in India, and the country's children are some of the most impacted. In fact, the system cited a recent study by the Cadi Research Foundation, which found obesity rates among urban children in New Delhi has increased 50% in the last ten years alone.

[Also: Hospital cafeteria upgrades focus on choice, health, improved patient experience]

Henry Ford Health System set off on this renewed path to wellness more than ten years ago, when they overhauled their hospital food. "It was really an industry-wide problem. Providing food to patients was viewed solely as a necessity, not the core business of healthcare, and that's how the reputation of bad hospital food became what it was," says John Miller, System Director of Culinary Wellness. "At Henry Ford, we knew we needed to rethink this whole concept. What resulted was an evolution in hospital dining."

Now the culinary scene at henry Ford is completely different. Gone are the deep fat fryers. High fat, high sodium foods have been ousted as well, replaced with healthy choices, including lean meats. Recipes were revamped and a room-service type arrangement that gave many patients and their visitors fresh, cooked-to-order options, was implemented.

Items like a chicken wrap and chicken biryani, a native Indian dish made with rice, are now available in two food courts that are now officially open for business in New Delhi. Additionally, agreements for several new locations have been signed, including one with a university.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn