Carb Counting & Basal Bolus Insulin Administration Using Simulated Hospital Food Trays

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  • Title

    Carb Counting & Basal Bolus Insulin Administration Using Simulated Hospital Food Trays
  • Submitted By

    Kimberly Muma
  • HomeGrown Solution Number

  • Identification of the Problem

    Our clinical skills lab nursing faculty needed a way to inexpensively create realistic reusable hospital food trays that could be used to teach carbohydrate counting and basal bolus insulin administration to nursing students.
  • Unique Idea

    Using cafeteria food trays and actual hospital menus as a starting point, we simulated hospital food trays using images of plates, food, beverages, condiments, etc. and then laminated them to create before/after images of food trays for our nursing students to assess the quantity of carbohydrates consumed by the simulated patient. Using this data, the nursing students could then calculate the basal bolus insulin dose to administer.
  • Supplies/Ingredients

    1. 3 cafeteria food trays
    2. Hospital menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (to be used as a starting point)
    3. 3 individual tray menus to go along with the breakfast, lunch, and dinner trays
    4. Instruction sheet for students
    5. Basal bolus insulin administration information sheets for students
    6. Basal bolus insulin (mealtime/corrective) dosage charts for students
    7. Photos of food (before and after eating) found from online sources
    8. Laminating pouches and machine
  • Steps to Creating the Solution

    1. Using the actual hospital menus (one for breakfast, lunch and dinner), find photos of food online that represent how the hospital food tray looked before the patient consumed the meal and also after the patient was finished. For example, if the patient ate 75% of their original 4 tomato slices, one photo would be of 4 tomato slices (before) and one photo would be of 1 tomato slice (after).
    2. Print photos of plates (plain white plates work best) and then add the before and after food photos to separate places.
    3. Laminate the plates and food photos to be used for the students to assess the quantity of carbohydrates consumed.


  • Carb Counting 1
  • Carb Counting 2
  • Carb Counting 3
  • Carb Counting 4