When you are looking for food for a care home catering service, one of the issues that you have to consider is whether or not the caterers can supply the food on time. With statistics showing that by 2032 an expected 23% of the British population would be aged over 65, and another 3.2m people would be over 80, it is a growing concern that should not be ignored. Traditionally, care home catering has been carried out either by the owners of the institution; none of this has been outsourcing in recent years. It was necessary, therefore, for the food to be delivered by an outside caterer, to ensure that the food was delivered on time and without delay. This made care homes even more of a specialised area of business, as not many people were able to do it, with time limits dictating that special orders had to be made.
Changing Food Options
For care homes to become successful in the 21st Century, the catering service has had to change to take on a different form. With more elderly people moving into their homes, and more people diagnosed with dementia, it has become necessary to cater for these special needs. The way that the caterers have responded has been innovative, and these days the food provided can help to improve the overall experience for residents. This is because the food has become more interactive, giving residents a greater choice of what food they want to eat, and making every meal a unique experience.
As well as this, there are now more options than ever for residents when it comes to what they want. It used to be the case that residents would get a menu that included a selection of items that were commonly used; this meant that the menu was often very limited, leaving residents hungry quickly after eating. As well as this, care homes often received a allocation of plates per resident, meaning that some food was wasted, or left untouched. It was common for this to result in the food being eaten by other residents, or spoilt.
In order to provide a healthy and balanced diet for their residents, care homes have had to change the way they provide food. Traditionally the menu was a ‘one size fits all’ type of offer, which left many residents either feeling bored, or hungry quickly. As well as this, the lack of choice in the menu meant that some meals became occasions for arguments, resulting in a reduction in the quality of life for everyone. By following the philosophy of’make it fit’, care home catering companies are now providing a much more varied range of menu choices. This not only provides a better diet, but also ensures that each resident receives the nutrition they need.
More Food Choices And Options
A favourite of care home catering companies in the UK is the ‘nutrition club’ concept. This is where a range of different food is offered, from starters, main courses, appetisers, side orders, desserts and even alcoholic drinks. The aim of these menus is to make the entire dining experience more enjoyable, and therefore encourage residents to eat healthier. The variety on offer means that residents can enjoy new flavours, as well as trying something that they would not normally have a chance to try. Many of these menus also include plenty of protein, which helps to promote weight loss in elderly patients suffering from dementia.
Finally, care home catering has introduced the ‘happy hour’ menu. This offers residents the opportunity to sample a wide range of different food at reduced prices. This offers residents the chance to try out a new dish, and perhaps see if they like it before purchasing the full range. Many caterers also offer champagne to their customers for an even greater feeling of enjoyment