Our meals are healthy, insists Crumlin hospital
Ireland's largest children's hospital says it is committed to serving healthy meals to patients and visitors, after sharp criticism from a senator over the standard of its food.
A spokesperson for Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin says it offers numerous healthy options on its dinner menu for patients and in its canteen.
The hospital's comments came after Senator Catherine Noone condemned "sugar-laden" foods being served to sick children at the hospital.
"This practice of serving foods with a high sugar content, such as pasta sauce and sugary jelly, to children under two years of age, is totally unacceptable," she said.
Ms Noone also said one mother "could not find anything healthy to eat in the hospital shop or vending machines on the site". But the hospital stressed that it continuously works to improve food and menus in consultation with the Youth Advisory Council, parents and guardians and staff.
"There is a chip-free day every Wednesday for patients and staff, which includes no wedges, curly fries or cubed potatoes," they added.
"Healthy options such as fruit, salads, yoghurts and sugar-free drinks are available in the canteen and coffee shops."
Calorie posting has been implemented across the hospital to help patients and visitors to make healthier choices, they added.
One menu for patients at the hospital features breast of chicken, stuffing and gravy, baked cod, or a vegetarian omelette.
But it also offers chicken goujons, beef curry and American burgers in a bun.
Patients can also choose carrot batons, potato wedges or chips, among other options for side dishes.