Sheba Medical Center dieticians surprise geriatric patients with ice cream supplements

In an effort to improve geriatric patients' mood and nutrition, dieticians turned liquid dietary supplements into ice cream.

Sheba Medical Center staff get ready to serve vitamin ice cream. (photo credit: NAAMA FRANK AZRIEL)
Sheba Medical Center staff get ready to serve vitamin ice cream.
(photo credit: NAAMA FRANK AZRIEL)

During the pandemic, geriatric patients at Sheba Medical Center were depressed and undernourished, unable to have visitors due to restrictions. In an effort to cheer them up and improve their nutrition, dieticians turned the patients' liquid food supplements into ice cream.

The supplement formulas come in four flavors: chocolate, cocoa, vanilla and banana.

In order to make the nutritional treats, staff members pour the supplements into an ice cream machine that was donated to the hospital and wait 45 minutes. Both staff and patients attest that, although there is a noticeable aftertaste, the final product is good.

Sheba Medical Center dietitians Meital Benjamin (left) & Ayelet Gur-Arie (credit: NAAMA FRANK AZRIEL)Sheba Medical Center dietitians Meital Benjamin (left) & Ayelet Gur-Arie (credit: NAAMA FRANK AZRIEL)

The ice cream has been a hit with patients, who often come back for seconds, according to Meital Benjamin, a dietician at Sheba who makes the desserts with her colleague Ayelet Gur-Arie.

“The response to the new ice cream has been amazing," she said. "It’s much better than having to tell patients to ‘drink this’.

Sheba Medical Center staff turn liquid dietary supplements into ice cream. Credit: Naama Frank Azriel

Rachel Sasson, a patient at the medical center, expressed her surprise and joy at the innovative frozen desserts.

“The last thing I expected to receive while being at the hospital was ice cream. It’s like a treat. It tastes wonderful and warms my heart.”

Sheba Medical Center patient Rachel Sasson (credit: NAAMA FRANK AZRIEL)Sheba Medical Center patient Rachel Sasson (credit: NAAMA FRANK AZRIEL)