There’s no doubt that delicious food is one of the great joys of life, and that is just as true in retirement as any other stage of life. Nutrition is also key as we grow older. A healthy combination of good food and exercise can delay or even reverse many of the problems associated with aging, helping older New Zealanders to continue living independently and enjoy a good quality of life.
With this in mind, there seems to be an uptake of aged care facilities who are putting more focus and thought into what their residents eat. From aged care giants to owner/operator facilities, many have been putting a spin on their daily meals.
Metlifecare has partnered with New Zealand chef Simon Gault to “inspire” the dining experience of their residents. “I’m really excited to be on board with Metlifecare, and am looking forward to reinforcing the importance of eating well at every age.” says Gault. Ryman Healthcare has launched “Project Delicious”. Their Managing Director Simon Challies said “We know that mealtimes are the most important part of the day. By giving residents more choice and new options we hope that they will look forward to meal times even more.’’
This doesn’t just mean a change for residents, but also the chefs at facilities. Ryman has invested in redesigning its kitchens and putting in extra resources to make “Project Delicious” work. As part of the change, responsibility for plating up the meals has been given back to the kitchens, so the people who create the food have the final say in how it looks.
Palms Lifecare Pukekohe chef Shelley Upfold took centre stage at a national culinary competition last month which aimed to highlight the fast-growing trend towards offering innovative cuisine at aged care facilities. At the NZChefs National Salon 2017, the Senior Lifestyle Cuisine cooking competition will showcase 10 chefs’ culinary skills. They are judged against a range of criteria including presentation of food, taste and texture, control of cooking process, professional practice and preparation. Among this year’s panel of judges are some of the country’s top hospitality industry talents including Wharekahau Lodge executive chef Marc Soper, Southern Hospitality head chef Mark Wylie, and Copthorne Oriental Bay executive chef Chetan Pangam.
If you are looking at going into care but would like to know more about what types of meals are on offer at your local facility, here are some good questions to ask:
- Are the meals nutritious, appetising and the quantities sufficient for you?
- Are there choices at meal times/
Can you help yourself to drinks, fruit or snacks at any time?
- Can a relative/friend join you for morning/afternoon tea or main meals occasionally? If so, is there a cost?
- Can you have meals in your room
If all this talk of food is making you hungry, head to our Meals and Food category here on Eldernet to check out local providers.