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Richardson Eating Disorder Service – Catering Guidelines

This leaflet may not be reproduced in whole or in part, without the permission of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

  • Introduction

    These guidelines are designed to give you information on what is encouraged during your
    stay on ward 31A, in order for you to meet your individual nutritional requirements and be
    able to manage eating in a more normal way

    We acknowledge the anxiety you may have about what is expected and we accept that
    you will not be able to eat normally straight away. You will therefore be encouraged to try
    and work on your eating by setting realistic goals each week.

  • Can I bring my own food?

    You or your family should not bring any food or drink onto the ward. You will have the
    opportunity to discuss these guidelines with the Dietitian.

  • Who decides what I am going to have?

    You will be given the weeks menus on a Tuesday for you to complete in time for your
    meeting with the Dietitian later that day or the next day in order to discuss your choices
    and update your food and fluid plan.

    All meals, snacks and supper will be supervised and provided as follows:

  • Breakfast

    Breakfast is available from the ward and will comprise of the following:
     Cereal (full bowl with a cupful of milk) and/or
     2 toast (wholemeal or white) +
     2 butter/margarine portions +
     Jam/marmalade portions if desired.
     Fruit juice

  • Lunch and evening meal

    They are provided from the ward kitchen. You can make your own choice from the menu,
    however will be encouraged to have a variety of the different foods available. A meal
    consists of two courses, i.e. main course (not soup) and dessert. Lunch is a cold meal
    and the evening meal is hot. You may include a drink with your meals, which should be
    prepared in advance of the mealtime or fruit juice from the menu.

    You will be expected to choose:
     A protein food i.e. meat, poultry, fish, egg, cheese or vegetarian main dish.
     A starchy food i.e. potato (any kind), pasta, rice or bread.

    This will be served with vegetables if a hot meal is chosen or a small salad if it is a cold
    meal. The salad must be accompanied by one of the following:
     Coleslaw
     Potato salad
     Packet of crisps

    This will allow you to challenge a variety of different foods, rather than becoming
    dependent on lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.

    There will be a choice of dessert from either:
     Pudding and custard, sauce, ice cream
     Milk pudding
     Yoghurt (not diet)
     Fruit (once per day)
     Cheese and biscuits

  • Snacks and supper

    The ward will provide all snacks and supper. You may choose from the snack lists

  • Meal times

    Meal times are approximately as follows:
    Breakfast: 8am - 9am
    Mid-morning snack: 10.30am
    Lunch: 12 noon - 1pm
    Mid-afternoon snack: 2.30pm
    Evening meal: 5pm
    Supper: 9pm

    There is a half hour supervision period after lunch and evening meal called ‘post meal
    supervision’, and 15 minutes supervision after snacks.

  • Dislikes

    The dislikes are individual genuine dislikes and not categories of food or main meals. You
    are allowed three dislikes on your food and fluid plan.

    It is difficult to determine what a genuine dislike is and what eating disorder behaviour is.
    By limiting the amount of dislikes, you will be encouraged to try foods that you would have
    previously avoided, thus increasing the variety of foods consumed.

  • Condiments and sauces

    -Provided on the ward.
    -1 sachet of salt, pepper, or vinegar is considered a condiment portion.
    -No more than 3 types of these condiments may be used at any one mealtime, e.g. 1
    salt, 1 pepper, 1 vinegar.
    - 1 sachet of salad cream, mayonnaie or tomato sauce is considered as a sauce portion.
    - No more than 3 sauces may be used at any one meal time eg 3 salad cream or 2
    mayonnaise and 1 tomato sauce.

    This reflects what is normal for most people and what is expected when eating out, e.g.
    salad cream on salad or tomato sauce on chips, etc.

  • Dining room

    -The cutlery provided should be used to eat the meals.
    -Breakfast cereal and desserts should be eaten with a dessertspoon. A teaspoon
    should only be used when the dessert is in a small pot e.g. yoghurt.
    - Sandwiches should be eaten with hands, not with a knife and fork.
    - Food should be eaten on the one plate that it has been served on and not several
    different ones.
    - Rituals around food, e.g. cutting food into very small pieces, are discouraged as they
    reinforce the eating disorder.
    -The table should be left set as it is, not moved around.
    -Everyone is to attend meals and snacks on time.
    -All patients are to support one another throughout the meal and in post-meal support.

    This reflects what is normal for most people and what is expected when eating out. It also
    allows peer support for those patients who are struggling.

  • Self catering and meals out

    All meals that you want to self cater or eat away from ward 31A, including home leave,
    will need to be agreed in the multi-disciplinary team meeting.

    All meals, including self catered meals, are to be eaten in the dining room unless an
    individual is catering a specific meal with a member of staff e.g. in the ward kitchen or
    in your own home.

    Nearer to discharge, you will increasingly be able to practice eating away from the ward
    and so some of these catering guidelines will not apply to you. However, any changes
    will need to be agreed in the multi-disciplinary team meeting.

    This promotes a balance between allowing you to practice taking some responsibility for
    meals, but also allows staff to identify individuals who are struggling and offer support.

  • Diet food

    No diet, reduced fat, slimming foods should be brought onto the ward. This
    includes sweeteners, sugar free chewing gum, some cereal bars and diet drinks e.g.
    diet coke.

    This prevents you from becoming dependent on diet foods and allows you to understand
    that these foods are not required when eating for better health.

  • Special, culture and religion

    Any special, cultural or religious food requirements need to be discussed with the Dietitian
    in order to ensure they are adequately provided for.

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:

    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.

    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    - the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    - complete a Points of You survey, available from staff.

  • Contact details

    Richardson Eating Disorder Service
    Richardson Unit
    Leazes Wing
    Royal Victoria Infirmary
    Richardson Road
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 4LP
    Tel: 0191 282 5259
    Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk.

  • Other formats, references and review

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can
    be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think
    about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio,
    larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information
    Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2018 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/524/1218 December 2018 V4 Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2021