Nutrition Services


Wholesome, nourishing and well-balanced meals are an important part of your treatment and recovery. MedStar St. Mary's Hospital makes every effort to provide nutritious meals that are prepared according to your doctor's orders. Patients are served breakfast between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m., lunch between 11:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and dinner between 4:45 and 6:30 p.m. In between scheduled meal service, patients may order from the "Room Service Menu" located in their rooms.

A representative from the Nutrition Services staff will deliver a menu for the next day's meal every morning. Please mark your choices and your menu will be picked up between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. If you are on a special diet prescribed by your doctor, you will receive menus tailored to your specific needs. Remember, if you are admitted in between our normal meal service times, you may select a meal from our "Room Service Menu." When your tray is delivered, you will receive a menu to select your next meal.

Special Diets

The following are some general guidelines for patients with special diet needs. A registered dietitian at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital can answer questions about your meals or diet. Please call 301-475-6049 to speak with a member of our Nutrition Therapy staff.

  • Diabetic: Each day, attempt to eat three well-balanced meals and an evening snack. Try to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal because carbohydrates have the most impact on your blood sugars. Carbohydrates include starches, fruit, and juices, milk, and sweets.
  • Don't forget to choose other foods that contain protein and fats. Some vegetables and items like diet gelatin and diet sodas are freebies. Your evening snack will consist of either one or two carbohydrate choices. If you are on a clear or full liquid diet, you will receive foods that contain sugar, such as regular gelatin, since you still need carbohydrates.
  • Cardiac: Restrictions on the cardiac diet include low sodium, low cholesterol, and no caffeine. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products in your menus.
  • Renal: This diet restricts sodium, potassium, phosphorous, and may also restrict protein and fluids.
  • NPO: This means nothing by mouth. A dietitian will monitor your NPO status.
  • Weight management: If your doctor has ordered a diet for weight loss, we will provide a diet to start you on a gradual weight reduction process. Once discharged, if further help is needed, we offer weight loss programs through Health Connections. For more information, call 301-475-6019.