Dietitian-Approved Menus Celebrate Whole Grains Month


Dietitian-approved menus feature a variety of nutrient-rich foods to help older adults stay healthy as they age. Whole grains are great sources of dietary fiber as well as several important vitamins and minerals, so they’re often added to senior care center meals and snacks.


From amaranth and barley to wheat berries and wild rice, whole-grain foods both take center stage and play supporting roles in dietitian-approved menus. September is Whole Grains Month, so what better time to learn more about serving delicious and nutritious whole-grain foods to your senior care center residents?

 dietitian-approved menus

Senior Dietary Guidelines for Whole Grains


According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, females over the age of 50 need at least 6 daily grain servings, while males age 51 and over need a minimum of 8 servings.


Of these total grains per day, at least half should be whole. In other words, senior women should aim to eat a minimum of 3 servings of whole-grain foods, and senior men should make at least 4 of their grain servings whole.


Health Benefits of Whole Grains


Whole-grain foods offer a host of health benefits. Diets that feature more whole grains have been linked with:


  • Reduced inflammation

  • Decreased risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

  • Slower cognitive decline

  • Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Living longer


Refined grains, or those that are missing one or more of their three key parts – the bran, germ and endosperm – don’t offer these same benefits to senior health.


Dietitian-Approved Tips for Serving More Whole Grains


Incorporating more whole-grain foods in senior care center meals and snacks isn’t difficult. In many cases, it’s a matter of making an easy ingredient substitution or addition, like:


  • Swapping out half of the white flour in baked goods for whole wheat flour

  • Using whole cornmeal for muffins and cornbread

  • Mixing uncooked oats into burgers, meatballs and meatloaf

  • Adding cooked wheat, rye berries or brown rice to soups and stews


Older adults also enjoy trying new foods. Why not try dietitian-approved recipes for whole-grain foods that may be unfamiliar to your senior care center residents, such as:


  • Pilafs, risottos and rice-like dishes made with bulgur, quinoa or sorghum

  • Whole-grain salads that feature barley, farro or wheat berries mixed with greens and veggies

  • Barley bread, teff flatbread and other interesting whole-grain breads


Planning dietitian-approved menus that are rich in whole-grain foods is easy with the Grove Menus. Our food menu program has hundreds of delicious and nutritious recipes, all of which can be modified as necessary to meet the individual health needs of senior care center residents.


Along with dietitian-approved menus, the Grove Menus system includes a suite of user-friendly food menu program tools that can help streamline meal and snack production, reduce waste and cut costs. For senior care centers, adopting our software system is an effective way to facilitate food service operations.


For more information on Grove Menus, or to schedule a free, no-obligation demonstration of how our dietitian-approved menus work to serve up the whole grains seniors need, contact us today.

How Dietitian-Approved Menus Promote Wound Healing

  Menu Planning

A meal planning program with dietitian-approved menus can be a smart solution for assisted living facilities and senior care centers.

Wound healing in older adults is impaired, as the body’s inflammatory response to injury naturally weakens with age. Seniors can recover from most wounds, but the process happens more slowly and the risk of infection is greater.

Food choices and nutritional status play a big role in wound healing – yet many seniors have difficulty eating a healthy diet. A meal planning system with dietitian-approved menus addresses this challenge, promoting better wound recovery in older adults.

Healthy Meals and Snacks

How Dietitian-Approved Menus Promote Wound Healing

For faster wound healing, seniors need to consume enough calories. Depending upon their gender and level of activity, this may be somewhere between 1,600 and 2,800 calories.

A balanced diet is just as essential as adequate caloric intake – and that’s where a meal planning system comes in. With dietitian-approved recipes, serving up healthy, meals and snacks that include a range of proteins, fruits, vegetables dairy products and whole grains is much easier.

Optimal Nutrition

Nutrition is a major factor in determining how quickly older adults recover from wounds.

Protein is particularly important. For better wound healing, every meal should include about 20 to 30 grams, and every snack needs to contain about 10 to 15 grams. And with some wounds, a higher amount of certain vitamins and minerals may be necessary. Using a meal planning program that has adjustable recipes allows assisted living facilities and senior care centers to easily optimize nutrition to meet the specific needs of their residents.

Proper Hydration

Staying well-hydrated can also help older adults recover from wounds.

Water, tea, coffee, milk and 100-percent fruit juice are all smart options, but convincing seniors to consume enough of these beverages – and not less-healthy options like sugary soda or fruit-flavored juice — is often difficult. To encourage proper hydration, meal planning systems have plenty of delicious dietitian-approved drink recipes that appeal to the senior palate.

Wound healing can be a serious problem for residents of assisted living facilities and senior care centers. Implementing a meal planning program that features dietitian-approved menus and easily-adaptable recipes – like the Grove Menus system – is an effective way to encourage problem-free wound recovery.

With Grove Menus, planning meals that address the unique health concerns of older adults is much simpler. And, along with meal planning, our software system includes a suite of user-friendly food service tools designed to help streamline production, reduce waste and cut costs.

For more information about the Grove Menus meal planning system, or to schedule a free, no-hassle demonstration of how our dietitian-approved menus can help promote wound healing, contact us today.

Food Menu Program Tricks to Boost Appetite in Older Adults

  Assisted Living Menus | Menu Planning

Assisted living facilities need effective food menu program strategies to deal with the loss of appetite. The problem is common among older adults, a decreased desire to eat can lead to malnourishment – and dietary deficiencies can create serious health consequences.

Seniors struggle with mealtime for a number of reasons. Dental issues, medical disorders, depression, and changes in the sense of taste have all been linked to loss of appetite, and the issue can also be a side effect of a medication.

Overcoming appetite loss in older adults can be an ongoing challenge for assisted living facilities. We share six food menu program tricks that may help make mealtime more appealing to seniors, reducing their risk of malnourishment.

Food Menu Program Tricks to Boost Appetite in Older Adults

Experiment with Flavor

Spicing food menus up with stronger seasonings and exotic flavors can help boost appetite in seniors at assisted living facilities. Try serving dishes seasoned with garlic, turmeric, cumin, dill, red pepper or curry. For baked goods, consider adding flavor-boosters like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves

Serve Colorful Foods

Richly-colored foods tend to be higher in nutrients, and serving up meals and snacks with colorful produce can help reduce the risk of senior malnourishment. Fruits and veggies with vibrant colors look appealing on the plate, which can help encourage older adults to eat more.

Try Different Textures

For more interesting and visually appealing meals, consider texture when planning assisted living facility food menus. Dishes with combined textures – such as Greek yogurt with granola or flaky biscuits topped with creamed chicken – are often more appetizing to older adults.

Think About Presentation

How food is presented can make a difference in senior appetite. To make mealtime more appealing, use a bit of creativity in arranging the food on the plate. We all eat first with our eyes, so meals that look good are more likely to be eaten.

Keep Track of Senior Favorites

Keep a watch over what works – and what doesn’t work – to stimulate senior appetite at your assisted living facility. By tracking favorite foods, mealtime flops and what times of day older adults are more willing to eat, you’ll be able to serve up meals that stand a better chance of being consumed.

When assisted living facilities take steps to address the loss of appetite in seniors, malnourishment is less of a problem. For more food menu program strategies to make mealtime more appealing, turn to the Grove Menus software system.

The Grove Menus meal planning program — featuring hundreds of adjustable dietitian-approved recipes along with a suite of user-friendly food service tools — is a cost-effective solution for meeting the dietary needs of assisted living residents.

To learn more about the Grove Menus software system, or for a free, no-pressure demonstration of how our food menu program works, contact us today.

Seasonal Menus for Seniors: Best Produce Picks for August

  Menu Planning

Does your assisted living facility offer seasonal menus for seniors?

Making meals and snacks with locally-grown fruits and vegetables picked at the peak of ripeness provides many advantages, especially as compared to consuming pre-packaged processed produce. Fresh, seasonal foods have more nutrients than those shipped in from afar or processed and packaged. They’re also fresher and have more flavor.

What’s in season in August? These are some of our favorite produce picks this month, for use in your seasonal menus for seniors.

Seasonal Menus for Seniors Best Produce Picks for August


August is the month for melons! Cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon are all at their peak of freshness and flavor right now. Serve chunks on their own for a delicious snack or mix them into a summer fruit salad.

Melons also make for great frozen desserts, smoothies, and slushy drinks.


Plump, sweet blackberries are delicious when served with a dollop of whipped cream. They can also be featured in a variety of baked goods like muffins, cakes, and cobblers. Try tossing a few in hot or cold cereal for a bit of freshness at breakfast time.


Tomatoes are at their best in August, and many seniors enjoy them with just a touch of salt. Roasted tomatoes are delectable with garlic and basil, served on crostini or tossed with freshly-made pasta. Jazz up your seasonal menus by featuring fresh tomatoes in summertime salads and sandwiches.

Sweet Corn

Roasted sweet corn is especially tasty this time of year, as is slightly charred corn that’s grilled in the husk. For seniors who can’t enjoy sweet corn on the cob, try slicing it off and serving it in a fresh salsa or salad.

You can also use this popular veggie for creamed corn, a seasonal menu favorite among older adults.


August is prime time for cucumbers, and crisp slices are a great addition to the raw salads on your seasonal menus. Cucumber is also easy to juice, which makes it ideal for refreshing drink recipes and cold soups. If your food service staff is so inclined, you can even make your own pickles to serve as a part of your seasonal menus.


Eggplant is incredibly versatile, healthy and popular with many seniors. Cubed, roasted eggplant is wonderful in pasta. Grilled slices with a bit of basil and feta cheese make for a satisfying senior meal. You can also try serving baba ghanoush – a creamy spread similar to hummus – with pita bread.

Could your assisted living facility benefit from an easy source of dietitian-approved recipes to feature in seasonal menus for seniors? The Grove Menus software system is designed to make it simple to use fresh, locally-grown produce in creating meals and snacks for older adults.

Along with hundreds of dietitian-approved recipes that can be modified to incorporate in-season produce, the Grove Menus system includes an integrated suite of user-friendly meal planning tools designed to facilitate food service operations. Our food menu program helps improve senior nutrition while reducing waste and cutting food costs at assisted living facilities.

Adopting the Grove Menus system is a cost-effective way to plan delicious and nutritious seasonal menus for seniors. To schedule a free, no-pressure demonstration of how our food menu program can benefit your assisted living facility, contact us today.

Dietitian-Approved Menus: Meal Planning for Vegetarians

  Menu Planning

Dietitian-approved menus can address – and resolve – the many challenges of meal planning for senior vegetarians.

A well-planned vegetarian diet, focused on serving a variety of the right types of foods, can meet the unique nutritional needs of older adults. With dietitian-approved menus, seniors at adult care centers can eat vegetarian and stay healthy – not to mention, a dietitian-approved food menu program makes meal planning much easier.

Planning healthy meals that meet the dietary needs of vegetarians doesn’t have to be difficult, especially with our handy meal planning tips.

Dietitian-Approved Menus Meal Planning for Vegetarians

Include Protein at Every Meal

For seniors on a vegetarian diet, experts recommend including a source of protein with all meals. Fish, eggs, and dairy are great sources of protein, but are problematic in meal planning for vegans and some lacto-vegetarians. Fortunately, plenty of other options – including soy foods, legumes, beans, lentils, nuts and nut butters – can provide the protein seniors need.

Plan for Proper Nutrition

In the process of meal planning, focus on including all the nutrients required for senior health. The more restrictive a vegetarian diet, the more difficult it can be for older adults to get critical nutrients. To that end, dietitians recommend serving a range of foods that contain vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. Dairy products, eggs, beans, seafood, fatty fish and green veggies, among many other vegetarian-friendly foods, can provide these nutrients in abundance.

Make Simple Recipe Changes

Many popular menu dishes can be easily adapted to fit into a vegetarian diet.

Burritos can be made with beans and cheese, rather than chicken, pork or beef. Pasta with marinara or pesto sauce, instead of a meat-based sauce, is also a crowd-pleaser for senior vegetarians. Other health options include veggie pizza, tofu-veggie stir fry, and vegetable lasagna.

Serve Vegetarian Products

Vegetarian meat substitutes often look and taste much like their non-vegetarian counterparts – and they’re usually a better meal planning choice in terms of saturated fat and cholesterol.

Soy-based sausage patties are great for breakfast, and veggie burgers, bean burgers and falafel can bring flavor and nutrition to senior lunches and dinners. Or, add meat substitutes like tempeh, tofu, and seitan for a protein boost in soups, stews and casseroles.

Choose Fortified Foods

To ensure senior vegetarians get a full range of nutrients, include fortified foods in your meal planning. Many cereals, breads, fruit juices, and milks are fortified with vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in the typical vegetarian diet. Dietitian-approved menus for vegetarians include more of these foods to help meet the dietary needs of older adults.

Creating delicious and nutritious meals and snacks for vegetarians is a breeze with Grove Menus. Our food menu program is packed with meat-free recipes, and our dietitian-approved menus can be easily modified for the vegetarian diet.

In addition to meal planning, the Grove Menus system also offers a suite of user-friendly program tools designed to save time, reduce waste and cut food costs. For more information on our food menu program, or to schedule a free, no-pressure demonstration of our dietitian-approved menus, contact us today.