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Your guide to the RCH

Food for families and visitors

  • The RCH provides basic breakfast supplies to parent lounges for the use of parents who stay overnight with their child.

    The RCH does not supply additional meals or beverages for parents, siblings or visitors. You will find tea and coffee making facilities in parent lounges and The Family Hub. You are welcome to supply your own food and drinks for your own personal consumption during your stay at RCH and these can be stored in the parent fridge in the parent lounges (for inpatient families) or in the Family Hub (for outpatient families). However, please leave certain cutlery items such as large or sharp kitchen knives at home, as these can be provided as needed.

    RCH has very strict policies and guidelines regarding food brought into RCH from external sources (including home) for consumption by patients (child in hospital) and parents/carers and how these foods are handled and stored.  Copies of these brochures and food label stickers are available in the ward pantries and parent lounges. 

    RCH Food Safety Policies for food bought in from external sources;

    Food brought into RCH from external sources for consumption by patients

    Food brought into RCH from external sources for consumption by parents and carers

    Food Storage Guidelines at RCH;

    Food Storage Guidelines for Patient Consumption

    Food Storage Guidelines for Parent and Carer Consumption

    In addition, food safety posters are displayed on equipment in the ward pantry and parent lounges to assist understanding of these guidelines to ensure food remains safe and complies with food safety legislation.

    Food Safety Policy does not allow the use of pureed or blenderised food for enteral feeding during inpatient admissions.
    View the Food, Formula and Enteral feed preparation – Food Safety Policy.

    There are a number of food outlets at the RCH: Parkville Café and Little Parkville Café, Aruba, Degani and Sandrock cafés; Trampoline gelato; Shuji Sushi and McDonald's. The retailers at the hospital are Rainbow Convenience Store, Woods Pharmacy and RCH Shop and Kids Health Info.

    All are located on the Ground floor (Beach), in (or adjacent to) Main Street. Trading hours vary, but many operate from 6:30am to 10:00pm every day.
    Vending machines are also located on all levels of the hospital except the ground floor. A supermarket is also available on the ground floor.

    RCH retail food policy

    All of these retailers have agreed to comply with the RCH Retail Food Policy. Only Trampoline has been excluded from this requirement in recognition of its unique product offering and its positioning as an 'occasional treat' rather than a meal item.

    The RCH has taken a leadership position in the promotion of healthy eating and is the first Victorian hospital to develop a retail food policy based on the 'traffic light' model featuring Green, Amber and Red categorisation of food and drinks. The model aims to increase healthier options to at least 80 per cent of foods and drinks (green and amber) displayed at the RCH, while restricting less healthy choices (red) to no more than 20 per cent.