Children and Young Peoples' Mental Health Service (CYPMHS) inpatient unit for West Yorkshire

How’s the food at Red Kite View?

A chef prepares fresh vegetablesTempting, high-quality food is seen as essential to the treatment of young people at Red Kite View.

Therefore they’ll be offered freshly cooked food prepared daily on site – and a wonderful menu to tempt them.

Dietician Mark Hodgson (pictured below) and Catering Development Manager Phil Long (pictured left) work closely together to produce the most appealing and nutritionally balanced menus possible for the young people.

“We have to be very flexible,” says Mark. “We work with young people to cater for their current health status and to meet their nutritional needs.

“It is not uncommon for us to be helping some young people with poor appetites. Others may require support with emotional challenges and overactive appetites.

“Our team’s aim is to understand the difficulties young people face over food and nutrition. If we understand that, we can offer bespoke dietary and nutritional care.

“Some young people may have sensory challenges around food such as smells, tastes, textures and colours. Autistic people may often have these sensory challenges.

“For example, it is not uncommon for an autistic person to find fruit and vegetables a sensory challenge, as these foods can be brightly coloured and vary significantly in textures and tastes.


Our dietician with a service user in the therapy kitchen“We would work with the young person and their parents or carers to manage those challenges.”

Phil Long says he realised early in his catering career it is ‘all about providing food that people want and making it as tasty as possible’.

“We can compile the most nutritious menu in the world but if young people don’t eat what’s on offer, then all the effort is wasted. However, you can improve eating habits if you’re clever.

“So we provide a core of recognisable favourites such as a Sunday roast alongside some other more exotic things, or a curry.”

A typical day’s menu at Red Kite might include some surprising items, having a very interesting combination of nutrition balance and temptation. An example is Tuesday in Week Two of the menu cycle at Red Kite View.

You can be adventurous and try chicken peri peri breast with butternut wedges and corn on the cob with lime butter – or you can opt for the more familiar mushroom stroganoff with creamy mashed potatoes and broccoli.

Two days later you can be adventurous again and have a baked sweet potato with a spicy peanut and hot chilli topping – or something closer to home like a BLT sandwich.


Over the years Phil (pictured here in the Red Kite View kitchen) has provided fine dining at the stately home Castle Howard and helped to troubleshoot at a major local authority’s catering operations in the South of England.

He’s nurtured many film, TV and music superstars on location, and he’s also worked on TV series with child actors, seen sets built for Skyfall, and fed the crew of Guardians of the Galaxies.

The chef who’s made double BLT with melted cheese daily favourite for Morgan Freeman on set at 11am sharp, or linguine with an enriched florentine sauce (spinach, eggs, and hazelnuts) for other famous names, isn’t easily beaten by difficult eating requests!

Phil’s own favourite food? A Greek combination of meat and vegetables wrapped and sealed in greaseproof paper and baked very slowly in a wood-burning oven.

Mark’s background lies in sports, health and fitness. He particularly enjoys cricket, football and squash, and this led to an interest in sports nutrition and sports fitness. He then took a degree in nutrition and dietetics, and he firmly believes food is an essential factor in our health.

Below is a picture of one of the communal dining spaces at Red Kite View – this one features some unique local wall art.

Dining room at Red Kite View with map wall art



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