Food and Drink Amenities

Food Allergy Program

Dining 4 Kids

The Department of Food and Nutrition Services provides healthy, balanced, kid-friendly foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily to patients staying overnight. A traveling food bar comes to each patient unit so that patients and families can choose what they would like to eat at each meal.

Please know the last four digits of your child’s medical record number when visiting the food bar. It is required for patient identification and is found on your child’s wristband.

If your child is on a special diet, your dietitian or nurse can explain what that means. If in-depth education is needed, a dietitian will provide education during your stay. Just ask your nurse for assistance. Please be aware that diets may change frequently throughout your stay. If you have questions regarding your child’s diet, make sure you ask a medical caregiver.

Some patients on special diets may be asked to fill out a menu. We ask that if you have food allergies that you tell the people involved in serving your food. Hospitality Associates (HAs) assist in meal delivery and you will see them at every meal.

If for some reason you miss the meal cart, please have your nurse contact an HA and a meal can be prepared for you. You will be able to choose snacks from the cart during meal times.

If you have any problems with meal service, contact the Patient Food Service Coordinator at 202-476-8339 or the Patient Food Service Manager at 202-476-3843.

Hours of Operation:

  • Breakfast: 8:00 – 9:30 am
  • Lunch: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
  • Dinner: 5:00 – 6:30 pm

Retail Food Operations

The Department of Food and Nutrition Services at Children’s National is dedicated to providing fresh and delicious foods to visitors and staff. There are several options for dining at Children’s National. They include:

  • Main Cafeteria, located on the 2nd floor of the Main Hospital
  • Dr. Bear Express, located on the 7th floor of the East Inpatient Tower
  • Dr. Bear Express Deli, located on the 2nd floor of the Main Hospital (across from the Main Cafeteria)

The Main Cafeteria offers a number of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including eggs and breakfast foods prepared your way, cereals, bagels, fresh fruit, and yogurts, hot entrees with fresh steamed vegetables, pizza and grill areas, fresh salad bar, soups and sandwiches, and hot and cold beverages. The cafeteria also offers a variety of options for those with food allergies and now has options for people avoiding gluten, including pizza dough and bread products. Learn more about avoiding gluten at Children's National.

Hours of Operation (Main Cafeteria):

Monday - Friday

  • Full Coffee Service: 6:00 am – 7:30 pm
  • Breakfast: 6:30 – 10:00 am
  • Lunch: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm
  • Dinner: 4:00 – 7:30 pm

Weekends and Holidays

  • 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

Dr. Bear Express: Grab ‘N’ Go

Grab ‘N’ Go food stations offer beverages, select hot foods, salads, sandwiches, and snacks. They are great for picking up something quickly.

Dr. Bear’s Express, located on the 7th floor of the East Inpatient Tower

  • Sunday – Thursday: 24 hours per day (closed 2:30 – 3:30 am)
  • Friday – Saturday: 7:00 am – 10:45 pm
  • Closed on major holidays

Dr. Bear’s Express Deli, located on the 2nd floor of the Main Hospital

  • Sunday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Closed on major holidays

Children’s Dining Card

Rechargeable gift cards that can be used in either our Main Cafeteria or Dr. Bear Express Cafés can be purchased at any of the registers in these locations.

Coffee Bars

Need a quick coffee break or a moment to yourself? We have two coffee bars that serve fresh brewed coffee, cappuccino, macchiato, lattes, spiced chai, tea, and smoothies. The coffee bars also offer an assortment of muffins, bagels, cookies, and fresh pastries.

Main Atrium Coffee Bar, located on the 1st floor of the Main Hospital

  • Monday – Friday: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm

Mini Atrium Coffee Bar, located on the 2nd floor (between the Main Hospital and the West Wing)

  • Monday – Friday: 6:00 am – 2:00 pm

Vending Machines

Vending machines offer hot and cold food selections as well as snacks and beverages 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the Main Cafeteria, the Emergency Department waiting area, and the family waiting rooms on the 3rd and 5th floors of the East Inpatient Tower. Microwave ovens also are available in and around the vending areas.

Kosher Pantry

The kosher pantry, located on the 3rd floor of the Main Hospital, is available to give families who keep kosher a dedicated place to eat prepared kosher meals and snacks while they are in the hospital. The pantry includes a refrigerator, dairy and meat microwaves, and disposable utensils. It is stocked with microwaveable meals and snacks all bearing symbols of national kosher supervision organizations. Please ask the nurse manager on your child’s unit for more information about accessing the pantry.

Hours of Operation:

  • 24 hours a day, seven days a week


Children's National in Your Neighborhood

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