Dietitian-approved menus for nursing homes and residential care facilities focus on the importance of senior nutrition. But, the meals aren’t just healthy – they’re specifically designed to appeal to older adults.
Proper nutrition is essential for seniors and, when planning menus, adult care centers must account for factors such changing appetites, dietary restrictions and eating problems. Most important, the meals must be appetizing, or residents won’t be interested in partaking.
Making delicious food and improving the dining experience can help improve senior nutrition. Here are seven ways that dietitian-approved menus promote a commitment to resident health and happiness at mealtime.
No. 1: Made-From-Scratch Recipes
Get away from the institutional approach and serve made-from-scratch recipes to make mealtime more appealing to seniors. Whenever possible, dietitian-approved menus include homemade food items. This improves the nutritional value of foods as well as the flavor and appearance.
No. 2: Regional and Local Foods
Serving popular regional dishes and local favorites will make many of your adult care center residents happy. Dietitian-designed recipes can be easily adapted to reflect the tastes of your geographic region, which can boost appetite and improve senior nutrition.
No. 3: Resident Preferences
To plan appealing meals, it helps to know what food items appeal to your residents. While regional and local recipes are popular, many older adults have differing tastes. If the seniors at your adult care center enjoy certain cuisines or types of meals, cyclic dietitian-approved menus can put them into the rotation more frequently.
No. 4: Subtle Substitutions
Many delicious recipes aren’t necessarily healthy – and many older adults have diet restrictions that can keep these foods off the menu. Dietitian-approved recipes use subtle ingredient substitutions, such as spices instead of salt and yogurt instead of sour cream, to improve senior nutrition without sacrificing flavor.
No. 5: Appetizing Soft Foods
Planning appetizing meals for older adults with oral health problems or difficulties chewing can be a challenge. To make meals tastier and more appealing while meeting senior nutrition needs, dietitian-approved menus rely on fresh ingredients and artful food arrangement.
No. 6: Special Food Events
Eating is a communal and social aspect of life and bringing people together for special food events can help improve senior nutrition. When residents gather to celebrate, they’re likely to enjoy the special dietitian-approved recipes and eat a bit better at mealtime.
No. 7: Flexible Dining Options
Many adult care centers offer flexible mealtimes or anytime dining, to allow seniors to eat when they feel hungry. Not everyone wants three full meals each day, and not all older adults are on the same meal schedule. Dietitian-approved recipes are flexible, allowing them to be easily incorporated into an anytime dining program.
Creating delicious, nutritious menus is easy with Grove Menus. Our cost-effective suite of menu planning tools includes hundreds of recipes designed by registered dietitians. And each recipe is adaptable, so making ingredient substitutions for seniors with different dining and dietary needs couldn’t be simpler.
In addition to meal planning, the Grove Menus software system facilitates food ordering and food production to reduce food waste and save time. Contact us to schedule a free, no-hassle demonstration, to see for yourself how our dietitian-approved menus can cut food costs and improve senior nutrition at your adult care center.