Even though much has changed in the last few weeks with the current COVID-19 situation, our clients’ need for good food and nutrition remains the same, if not more vital.
More than ever, your menu needs to meet your clients’ needs during this trying time of COVID-19.
This is because clients are:
• Less able to accept visitors and the favourite foods they often bring
• Less able to eat out with community groups and outings
• Unable to eat in the dining room with others
• Less able to have an active social life, with family and friends that often involves food
• Eating more meals from your facility’s menu
We must also consider that COVID-19 may bring changes in staffing, food safety protocols, suppliers or new policies, all of which can affect your menu design this winter.
Does your menu need a winter overhaul?
Here is what a great aged care menu looks like:
- There should be plenty of client involvement. What makes a menu great is different for each home, for each client group and comprises more than just the nutrition, it’s the ownership by clients, and responsiveness and flexibility of foodservice and staff that makes it truly great. In addition to client meetings and menu surveys, try to include family recipes from clients in the menu.
- Clients should have plenty of opportunity to make choices within the menu. For instance, if they do not enjoy roast beef, they can opt for the tuna bake or a short order meal.
- Client should have ample opportunities to consume the recommended serves from each of the five core food groups each day. This is very different to the recommendations for the general population
- Each meal needs to meet weight standards to ensure that clients are offered the appropriate amount of each food group. i.e. 90g of potato at lunch meal
- Include a wide variety of dishes, flavours, textures and colours to boost enjoyment.
- Incorporates food fortification to maximise nutrition of food. Examples of this include adding skim milk powder to soups, providing nourishing mid meal snacks, and so forth.
With the loss of the social aspects of eating, working together with your client group to invigorate the winter menu is a great way to keep spirits high. Food doesn’t only provide nutritional value. It comforts, triggers fond memories, is a way to celebrate, and a way for our isolated clients to reconnect to one’s culture and family traditions.
Where to from here with your COVID-19 menu?
We understand that it is a lot to have to consider for a menu. But achieving client-centred care, while tricky, must continue to be our collective goal.
We are here to help if you are making any changes to your menu this winter. A Leading Nutrition Aged Care Menu Review will ensure your menu meets high standards and is nutritionally adequate.
Through our comprehensive process, we work with you to identify areas of strength as well as areas of improvement and help you address these. What you have at the end is a menu that already has the Leading Nutrition tick of approval, and a report to prove it.
Please reach out to us on 1300 722 712 for any questions or more information about our menu review process.