When choosing a care facility, one of the most important things that contributes to high- quality living is the food. With some residents being less able or less inclined to have a highly active lifestyle, their meals tend to be of greater importance to them. Not only does the food need to taste good, it needs to look good as well. When served the food should first look attractive, which should fill them with anticipation to eat their meal. There should be a balance of color on the plate with fruits and veggies to go with the protein (usually a meat), followed by delicious desserts. The generations we currently have in our facilities come from backgrounds where gravy is used regularly over starches and meats. And of course for some, the food must also fall into whatever dietary restriction categories that are necessary for the individual resident. And, it is very important that mealtime is a time for conversation and happy energy while partaking in their meal.
Here at Bel Aire, we have high standards when it comes to food and resident expectations. We expect that each meal will be served with pride and elegance. The food should look and taste delicious, and of course, served with a genuine smile. It will be properly seasoned, it will be colorful and radiant, and it will be nutritiously delicious. Our Executive Director, Steve Sabins, says that he “wants our residents to have an excellent dining experience at every meal.” The food needs to be drawing the residents back for each meal, which is indicative in their level of satisfaction, where socialization occurs, thus, increasing their quality of life and overall happiness. We all know that delicious food can be a direct line to increased happiness.
Anthony Cirillo, a writer, consultant, and professional speaker who helps family caregivers and individuals make educated aging decisions, tells us in one of his articles that It’s the simple things that matter, like eating what you want, and where you want. We agree. It is so important to have a substitution menu. Not everyone can or wants to eat what is on the general menu. The residents should eat what they like. We also bring around snacks throughout the afternoon so the residents can eat when they want to as well. Finally, make sure the menu sounds great as well, then make certain that the food lives up to the standard.