Good meals in a Care Home

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Bikerbeth, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. Bikerbeth

    Bikerbeth Registered User

    Feb 11, 2019
    We have a relatives meeting in 2 weeks. A few of us relatives feel that some of the food is a bit ‘fancy’ Not sure if it makes any difference but this is across both standard residential and the dementia floor.
    I just wondered what people with relatives in a Care Home would consider good food. Thanks
  2. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    I think variety is a Good idea. Across the residents there is possibly a breadth of likes and dislikes so its difficult to suit everyone all the time.

    What is served that you think is too fancy ( and how often)
  3. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    I think food must be a major source of contention, at least for relatives, in care homes. I've only been to two relatives meetings at my mum's care home, but at the end of the last one someone said 'That is the first time we haven't discussed food.' At the previous meeting it was mentioned they'd got a new cook, I think there had been a few complaints about food before that. Certainly mum wasn't keen when she first arrived, now she sometimes says she's enjoyed something. I had to visit earlier than I usually do a few weeks ago and mum was tucking into a full English, and appeared to be relishing it.
    It depends on what you think is 'fancy' I guess. The main thing is to have food the residents enjoy.
  4. Bikerbeth

    Bikerbeth Registered User

    Feb 11, 2019
    As there are only a small number of residents currently the choice is limited (which is fine and they will do jacket potatoes/ omelettes instead) so today it was haddock and Mediterranean vegetables or a sweet potato jacket with feta cheese.
    Talking with other relatives there it just seemed that our Mum’s in this case would prefer fish and chips or jacket potato with cheese and beans.
    I guess Mum would prefer the ‘pub classics’ such as sausage and mash, chicken pie etc. I know I should have checked a bit more when we looking at the CH but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    I was just curious as to the food served in other homes
  5. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    Aren't they a newly opened home? Maybe they are focussing on 'healthy' options and 'fancy' dishes in their menu an attempt to attract a certain type of resident/family? The food at Mum's home is good and she tends to eat everything. There is usually just a choice of 2 meals at lunch but they will do an omelette or salad etc to order. There's always a roast on Sundays and fish & chips on Friday and on other days there'll be things like meat pie, salmon, sausage & mash, fish cakes, jacket potatoes, chicken curry, pasta. Breakfast is porridge or cooked: scrambled egg, bacon, hash brown and baked beans. Today Mum had lasagne with boiled potatoes, beans & cauliflower for lunch with a fruit flan for desert. She eats better than I do :) Mum was moved there in a hurry so we didn't think to check the menu beforehand but no complaints so far.
  6. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    Pre dementia my mum would have loved and chosen the food being offered, however I think if offered the choice she would prefer pub classics now.

    Mum isn't in a care home, but is in sheltered extra care, using the restaurant at lunch time, which serves what I would call traditional canteen/school dinner food, although it always has quiche and salad options as well - so definitely fish and chips on Friday which I am told is mum's favourite.

    I think many of mum's generation (she'll be 90 this year) would never have even chosen that sort of food. She always used to like to go out to foreign restaurants (greek, chinese, mediterranean ) when she came to stay with us as she said none of her friends would go anywhere but British pub food menus and whilst she liked this she liked a change. My mum travelled extensively in her youth and so had different tastes to her own generation (home counties based).

    Edited to add: I think my mum would enjoy the menu @Louise7 has outlined - in fact I'd say it would be perfect for her.
  7. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    Mum swears blind that she doesn't eat anything and turns her nose up at the mention of food - but since being in the nursing home she is actually eating quite well, including things she would never have eaten at home. She cannot make a decision if given a choice as she cannot remember what she used to like. From what I have seen ( and I will admit I don't hang around at meal times because Mum will try and give me the food) they have "normal food", fish,meat,chips, veg and potatoes etc and vegetarian options too, for breakfast a choice of cereals, toast and a full English, and for tea a selection of sandwiches, not to forget the desserts, cakes.
  8. Splashing About

    Splashing About Registered User

    Oct 20, 2019
    Food was something we considered when reviewing homes.
    One home had a dining room set up as a restaurant with wine glasses etc. This was the home I’d been privately warned about....I think they aimed to appeal to relatives.
    Others did food from all countries but was in a rural location with no ethnic diversity in the population or takeaways. Looked good for CQC but not a hit for the locals.
    Most do pub meals with omelettes or poached fish as alternatives.

    Mum currently eats ice cream or custard. Nothing else. She drinks only milk but the least caring and attentive carer brought jam sponge with cream and water tonight...
  9. Bikerbeth

    Bikerbeth Registered User

    Feb 11, 2019
    Thank you all for your replies.
    @Sarasa Mum is fine for breakfast as she has cereal and toast. I think she would like a cooked breakfast for lunch as I used to do that at home once a week for her
    The point you make - food the residents enjoy - is the most valid point and it does seem that the current residents are not keen.
    @Louise7 and @Jale Mum would like the type of meals your Mum’s are enjoying. It is a newish home and was not my first choice but had a vacancy when it was needed.
    @Splashing About - they do have a restaurant like you mention on the ground floor, however nursing and dementia floors have a more informal arrangement. So I agree to an extent that meals perhaps appeal to relatives. Sorry to hear about your Mum’s ‘food’ experience tonight.
  10. imthedaughter

    imthedaughter Registered User

    Apr 3, 2019
    The food is one of dad's absolute favourite things to complain about. He makes a big fuss over being vegetarian, talking about it to everyone (and no judgement, he brought me up vegetarian and I'm vegan now) but he does eat fish so is really pesticarian. And last week he told a carer he does eat chicken now and then. I've never known him to eat chicken or any meat; I think it's probably been 40 years and he was vegetarian at school at one point, and had a vegetarian ration book in WW2!

    At supported living he refused to make anything himself in his well appointed kitchen and then complained about the food in the restaurant, saying the people there were using meat gravy on everything (they weren't). Then when they banned him from the restaurant, I got meals on wheels in. I chose his menu every two weeks, and he loved it apparently. I chose a balance of light dinners like quiche and salad with sponge and custard, or a vegetarian curry with rice and naan with yoghurt for dessert.

    Fast forward to the residential home. It's small so can't be too fancy and they offer a choice but of course dad often forgets what he's picked so it's always a surprise and not usually a good one.

    He became very suspicious of anything looking like meat, like a vegetable lasagne. So they have been sticking to things which are obviously vegetable based. The home buy in tins of soup and for dad and the other vegetarian lady they sometimes buy ready meals but dad imagines it's a big kitchen where they are turning out enormous amounts of food and 'topping up the soup with meat stock'. He can tell apparently. In reality the home are heating up half a can of Heinz vegetable soup in the microwave.

    The manager told me they have served more exotic fare but it doesn't get eaten so it's very much sausages and mash, fish with potatoes and vegetables, cottage pie maybe and so on. They tried putting more veg in, mixing it with rice to look nice but every resident picked out the peas and sweetcorn and left them on the plate! I think you'd be hard pressed to catch a baked sweet potato with feta there.
  11. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    #11 Rosettastone57, Jan 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
    My mother-in-law was in a new home, but had traditional food enclose photo of the menu FB_IMG_1578830650702.jpg

    There was always full English breakfast as well as cereals. No fancy 5 course menus.

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