We are almost at the end of winter and nearing spring. In our Homes that means a change of season and a change of menu.
There are many factors to consider when meal planning for people in Care. Nellsar is quite unique in that we have specialists such as myself, and our Head of Catering Services, Adrian Silaghi. We have developed a meal planning template for each of our Homes to use. In fact, we are coming into our spring/summer menu planning this month and Adrian and I are meeting with each of our 13 Head Chefs on Zoom to discuss planning for their residents over the coming months.
Adrian has been in touch with all the teams to provide focus for February and March;
‘This month’s topic, work and focus it is about menu planning, special menus, special diets, choices, questionnaires to residents, individual menu plans, focus on residents needs and how to deliver them in a proper way. At the same time we need to start considering recipes, food presentation, food pictorials and show plates in anticipation for our next topics in March. We are aiming to create a Nellsar food recipe book, featuring presentation and quality standard for gourmet food presentation.”
We change our menu twice a year: spring/summer and autumn/winter. The very first thing we do is ask each resident their preference for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. If a person is unable to communicate their preferences, we call family members and ask them to provide information about their loved one. From here, we can start planning!
We have many individual needs within our Homes. Some people require a texture modified diet due to dysphagia, some may have allergies, and some are vegetarian or vegan. We also have residents who require their religious needs to be met. All of this and more is taken into consideration when menu planning.
We then build a 4-week menu where we are careful not to repeat meals, aside from a traditional roast and fish and chips on a Friday!
Once the new menu is rolled out, we ask for feedback from residents to ensure we have got it right and everything is to their liking.
Our residents are at the heart of everything we do and the kitchen is the heart of the Home – so the menu is our way of showing our residents living in a Nellsar Home how much we care.