A new buffet-style breakfast has been introduced to the Children’s ward at Darlington Memorial Hospital to encourage young patients to eat something healthy at the start of the day. Two young patients, Julia, aged 6, and Taylor, aged 9, were on hand to help with the first buffet. Matron, Angela Price, said, “We want all our young patients to have the best experience they can when they’re in our care which is one of the reasons we’ve introduced the buffet breakfast. Children on the ward tend to wake up at different times, depending on whether they have had a good night and how unwell they are.  When you’re under the weather, your appetite can be one of the first things to suffer and we hope that making the buffet available for two hours each morning, between 7.30 and 9.30am will give them the opportunity to wake up in their own time, then eat when they feel able to.  Eating well at the start of the day is so important for young children and even more so when they are poorly.  “The buffet includes cereal, fruit, yoghurt and toast if they want it, which we will make for them.  There’s also milk and juice to drink.  Many of our patients have a parent staying with them, who can help with their selection, but otherwise, we will.  They can either eat in the breakfast room or take a tray back to their bed.  Of course, if they feel too poorly to get up, we’ll bring breakfast to them.” Taylor’s mum, Sharon, said, “This is a great idea and a good way to encourage the children to have a nice breakfast and to choose what they would like.  Taylor was admitted last night and was quite tired this morning, so it was reassuring knowing he could have breakfast when he wanted it and that the choices are all healthy.  I hope he doesn’t expect a buffet at home!”