Food Glorious Food, the Brendoncare Way

Written by: Alison Reijman Published: April 30, 2024

Mealtimes are the most important times of the day for many of Brendoncare residents. We are taking positive steps to ensure that every meal is an enjoyable experience for them.

To continue doing this, Brendoncare has introduced Food Forums. These forums give our catering teams a chance to talk to residents and their relatives about nutrition, hydration and mealtime experiences within each care home.

A food forum was held at Brendoncare Knightwood where there was lively discussion about food. There was lots of positive feedback and ideas about making mealtimes even more pleasurable.

As Kevin Oborne, Brendoncare’s Hospitality Manager explained, care home food has traditionally had something of a bad reputation. People imagine the meals comprise boiled cabbage and overcooked food.

This is absolutely not the case at Brendoncare.

Nutrition champions

Nutrition champions at each care home ensure the home-made cooked meals are of the highest nutritional quality and to the residents’ liking. The catering teams involve the residents in designing the menus so that every meal consists of dishes they all like.

Another important consideration for our catering teams is preparing food for residents who have difficulties with swallowing (dysphagia).

For residents with this condition, it is important that the food is safe for them. The catering team provide soft and bite sized, minced and moist, and puréed dishes to meet their needs.

All these dishes are based on the IDDSI Framework (International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative 2019) where there are individual ratings for how food and drink are prepared depending on residents’ needs.

Second chef Sam Tilsley, one of Knightwood’s nutrition champions, showed the residents and relatives a selection of meals. These had been puréed, but looked appetising on the plates.

One was cottage pie with peas, mash and corn, the other roast pork with broccoli, carrot and roast potatoes. For dessert, the choice was either an upside down cake or a chocolate brownie.

Everyone had a chance to sample these dishes. They were impressed with the way they were all presented, along with how good they tasted.

As well as offering a delicious choice of dishes and menus, the care home teams ensure that all residents are well nourished and hydrated. Team members record any signs of either loss of appetite or loss of weight.

Something simple

Kevin also explains: “We are also aware that some residents will have days when they are not feeling 100%. In such cases, we can organise something simple for them like scrambled egg or a poached egg, a baked potato, plain cooked fish or fresh fruit.

“In every instance, feedback both from residents and relatives is really important if we are to provide the food and drink everyone wants and enjoys.”

Food forums are being held at all Brendoncare’s homes. This is to ensure residents’ tastes and needs are catered for, and that food glorious food is always on our menus.