Why food choices are important?
Research indicates that the absence of food choices affects self-determination among Aged Care residents, potentially lowering their quality of life. Also, if residents are unable to choose meals that they like to eat, they may reject their meals entirely. This could lead to nutritional deficiencies, weight loss, and poorer physical health.
All our members will have a story about the food they like and don’t like to eat. Food forms a primary focus in everyone lives. When a person enters an aged care home or uses Meals on Wheels, they lose a certain amount of control over their meals and therefore food becomes more important.
Why are our members fixated over food?
Food is a primary survival need and must be eaten every day. Fortunately, in Australia our food supply is constant as we have food security, so one of the primary reasons why food is a hot topic in aged care sector is due to control, and the behavioural components of what food means to us all.
Everyone comes with their own pre-determined idea of what they like to eat, how they like to eat, when they like to eat and how they like their food cooked. Over decades each resident has developed their own biological food pattern. They have their own food preferences, food habits and food memory all forming what they expect from foodservice each day.
Let’s put all of this into prospective and do some maths as to how difficult it is to menu plan and cater for the residents. The average aged care home would have eighty beds. Each home would provide 3 meals and 3 mid-meal snacks at total of 6 eating occasions per day. 80 x 6 = 480 meal occasions per day for one home which equate to 175,200 meal occasions per year.
No wonder there is a lot of pressure on foodservices to get it right. That is why menu planning is so important to offer a wide variety of meals and choice. It is important to gather food preferences and revisit food preferences with residents. Whether its an aged care or Meals on Wheels, Menu choice is important to always consider when menu planning. Join us for our FREE Aged Care webinar to discuss choice and how to include it in your meal service. Register for our upcoming webinar where you will find useful information and tips.
What you will learn:
- What is choice and why it is important to your consumers
- How to develop choice strategies across your menu that won’t break the budget
- Using technology to support choice
- Industry examples of how choice is being delivering through the menu
Blog written by Dr Karen Abbey – Procurement Australasia Foodservice Ambassador
Join our FREE Aged Care Webinar – “Choice- Implementing Menu and Meal Strategies in the Aged Care sector”
When: September 3 (2.00 pm – 3.30 pm)
Procurement Australasia’s Foodservice Ambassador, Dr Karen Abbey will be hosting a FREE webinar specifically catered to the issues faced by the Aged-Care industry.