Food plays an important role in the daily lives of residents living in aged care facilities and the provision of food services to the aged care sector is a growing and complex challenge. With between 40%-70% of aged care residents in Australia falling into the category of malnourished*, there are many unique challenges for food service providers that need to be addressed.
The importance of menu development is to create the necessary food service structure to stimulate the appetite and improve the nutrition intake of residents at every meal cannot be underestimated. Cater Care take this very seriously, and this awareness of responsibility and desire to make a difference led us to the Maggie Beer Foundation.
The Foundation aims to bring together knowledge, understanding and experience from food experts around Australia to improve all aspects of the dining experience. In late June, the Maggie Beer Foundation hosted a three-day workshop ‘Creating an Appetite for Life’ in the Barossa Valley for 30 chefs and cooks from Victoria. One of our talented Chef Managers, Ben Souter from Baxter Village in Victoria attended on behalf of Cater Care. The workshop focused on the value of nutritionally balanced simple home-style food, and culinary developments that address the different needs and medical conditions within aged care.
‘The program was excellent, and I am really keen to address in more detail how we can build on our fresh food approach and build even more quality into every dish we create.’ said Ben recently. ‘Delivering quality food that is prepared on site, using fresh ingredients is really what makes the difference to our residents. I am also keen to look at different styles of cooking and seeing how I can bring these to life in our daily menus’.
Cater Care is committed to supporting and empowering our teams to care and provide their best every day. We are proud to support our team through opportunities such as this to learn. It is this training that will help Cater Care continue to deliver the best aged care services possible.
*Dieticians Association of Australia, 2013-2014, Preventing and treating malnutrition in older Australians