Be Honest … How is the Food?

May 26, 2016

Questions about food quality, quantity and variety are tops for families and individuals considering moving into an independent or assisted living community. Having one great meal can give them a sample “taste” of the food, but can the quality hold up three meals a day over the long run?

To help ensure the kitchen staff at The Saybrook at Haddam hits a “homerun” every day, we rely on resident input and feedback. We are fortunate to have a lively and well-attended Food Committee that meets monthly with the Food Services Director, Nadine Hann, and other kitchen staff. This group talks openly and honestly about issues or concerns they may have with meals, ingredients, choices, flavors, nutrition, and moresalsa recipe

Each month, approximately 30 residents take part in the committee and, as a result, Nadine has completely removed some foods or ingredients from her menus, and has added in others (like her famous salsa, which she shares here). By better understanding their preferences, she can offer main meals, alternatives, and specials that hit the mark. (To see a sample menu from The Saybrook at Haddam, click here.)

“Residents know very well the foods and flavors they like and don’t like, so their input is valuable to everyone in the kitchen” Nadine said. “Additionally, many residents are life-long cooks with a great wealth of knowledge about creating great meals. Although they now enjoy having someone else cook for them, it is still important they have the same quality and selection they would from their own kitchens.”

Additionally, senior citizens in general have “a tendency to follow nutrition prescriptions better than other ages,” according to a recent article on www.caring.com. In this article, Angela Lemond from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says this is in part because older adults have more time to spend on making healthy lifestyle changes. She states, “People are living longer than ever, and many are realizing that a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet can optimize the quality of their lives.”

Lemond also notes that many injuries and illnesses can be avoided in older age with a healthy diet. “Staying active (cardiovascular exercise and weight-bearing activities) and eating a diet high in lean proteins, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables goes a long way,” she says. “We need to encourage our older family members to follow a healthy lifestyle so they can be around longer to share more family memories. That’s what it is all about!”

We couldn’t agree more! So come visit our beautiful dining room, talk with our kitchen staff and friendly servers, and learn more about how residents have a voice in one of the most important (and tasty) parts of daily life at The Saybrook at Haddam.

For more information or to schedule a private tour, please click here or call us at 860-345-3779.

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