Cincinnati Children's Blog

Taste of Radiology

Taste of Radiology

Taste of Cincinnati is one of the nation’s largest street festivals held every Memorial Day weekend in downtown Cincinnati. It started in 1979 and is now the nation’s longest-running culinary arts festival. Approximately 500,000 people attend the annual food extravaganza with over 50 restaurants providing festival goers the opportunity to sample the many flavors of the region.

In honor of this long-standing regional tradition, our Radiology Department wants to offer a virtual Taste of Radiology. Get your taste buds ready…

Photo: Patient with Barium mixture.

Barium—A white, chalky, textured drink usually mixed with water. Offers a slight sweetness on its own but can be flavored with powdered Kool-Aid mixes including fruit punch, strawberry, grape, orange and chocolate flavors. Some kids like it room temperature but others prefer ice chips for that colder drink experience. Barium will definitely leave a “milk mustache,” so be prepared for a little clean up at the end of the exam. If the liquid barium isn’t quite your child’s style then sample some barium paste. This marshmallow fluff textured barium is often spread on graham crackers, cookies or granola bars. Children having Upper GI studies or Video Swallow Studies will most likely sample these culinary treats.

Volumen—This clear contrast comes with a subtle berry flavor but can be enhanced with other Kool-Aid mixes including cherry, fruit punch, orange or grape. This contrast drink comes already chilled so no need for ice to be added. This is not a drink to sip but instead needs to be finished within a certain amount of time. The CT or MRI technologist will tell your child how much he or she needs to drink and the “use by” time for optimal imaging.

Visipaque—This is another clear contrast that has a sweet syrupy flavor. Radiologists often keep this drink in the “reserved section” and use it for specialized imaging.

Omnipaque—This is a tasteless contrast that can be mixed with juice drinks (no pulp) or other non-carbonated drinks to take on that flavor. Kids having CT scans of their abdomen or pelvis might partake in this tasty “made-to-order” drink.

If you are looking for something to eat while in Radiology you might stop by the nuclear medicine department for a Gastric Emptying Study. Breakfast is served any time of day with a radioactive scrambled egg on the menu. It looks and tastes like a regular scrambled egg with the added benefit of being visible to the camera. Also offered with that is a classic PB and J, but for those with allergies or a discerning pallet, you can bring your own choice of snacks.

Some children coming to our Radiology Department will not have had anything to eat or drink (NPO) before their procedure. For those children waking up after anesthesia or sedation, we offer a variety of beverages or light snacks including water, juice boxes, graham crackers or saltines. Let your nurse know your child’s preference and we will bring it right to his or her bed. Now that’s service with a smile!

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