In order to live a healthy life, doctors recommend watching what we eat.
"When we think healthy, we think the food is kinda blah and doesn't taste the greatest," says Stephanie Small, clinical nutrition coordinator for Mercy Medical Center.
Mercy Medical Center is breaking these barriers by offering what are called Healthy Variety meals.
These dietitian-approved meals are made in house by hospital staff and are a healthier option compared to grocery store frozen meals.
"We have taken recipes and modified them to make sure they are low sodium, low saturated fat, plus a moderate amount of carbohydrates so we have been able to make sure they taste delicious," says Small.
With a successful launch in Dubuque, Mercy staff say the goal of this program is to reduce hospital re-admissions for those with congestive heart failure, diabetes, or heart disease. However, they are available for anyone to purchase from the Mercy cafeteria.
"Going home from the hospital can be overwhelming because there is a lot to do," says Small. "Grabbing a couple of meals before going home can help bridge that gap so they don't have to think about cooking right away when they get home."
Currently, there are twelve different meals, including breakfast options, and each one costs around five dollars.
"People are pleasantly surprised with the good flavor, considering they are a healthy choice," says Small.