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Improving Food Menus in Adult Daycare Programs and Facilities
#1
For adult daycare facilities, food menus and the food service process can present a host of logistical challenges. Unlike a residential care setting, day-based care programs often lack a dedicated food service staff to handle menu planning, ordering and preparation. 


The Challenge of Food Menus
In a group or care home setting, where residents must be served meals multiple times throughout the day, a dedicated food service staff handles tasks that include menu planning, purchasing, preparation, and service. In the adult daycare setting, however, those tasks may comprise only a small part of staff member duties.  Adult daycare facilities typically serve the needs of a diverse participant base. Some participants may be able to consume a regular diet, while others require specialized food menus or consistency modifications.   The menu planning process, a logistically complex endeavor, can become lost among the many other challenges that administrative and support staff face.

Gathering Recipes and Resources Requires Time and Effort
In many adult daycare settings, staff members gather recipes and analyze nutritional needs as a part of establishing and planning food menus.  Shopping and order lists are then prepared by hand, based on estimated quantities. If participant counts change, or if special dietary considerations arise, the potential for ingredient shortages and food waste become more compelling.  As a result, per-serving costs rise, along with frustration levels of your staff and administration. If nutritional adequacy is lost, or if special dietary needs are not met, the facility may face compliance challenges or profit status threats. 
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#2
Adult day centers are designed for older adults who can no longer manage independently, or who are isolated and lonely. Planned activities promote well-being though social and health services. Adult day care centers operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, in a safe, supportive, and cheerful environment. Nutritious meals and afternoon snacks that accommodate special diets are typically included. As our aging population grows, the range of private and non-profit respite NJ programs like adult day care or many residential programs  continues to expand.
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