Gold Standard Dining at Christian Health
Christian Health has been making ongoing efforts to elevate the dining experience for our residents, and patients across all of our communities. Recent changes to our menus and dining programs are designed to highlight our delicious offerings, make dining more accessible for those requiring accommodations, and maintain our Gold-Standard Pledge of quality. Our team of highly skilled dieticians and professionally trained chefs are dedicated to providing healthy, delicious, and comforting meals using premium ingredients and fresh, locally grown produce.
Updated Menus for Residents and Patients
At Christian Health, we will be unveiling updated menus for our resident and patient dining rooms, which will feature a Gold Standard Pledge that outlines Christian Health's commitment to utilizing fresh, premium ingredients whenever possible. The updated menus feature larger fonts and clearer, more-streamlined formats that are easier to read for older residents and those living with dementia.
Other key features of our new menus include:
- Our signature Comfort Classics – These homemade selections are prepared consistently across Christian Health communities and are clearly highlighted on our menus with a “C.” These entrees are traditional home-style favorites and dishes rich in heritage – such as Yankee pot roast, chicken pot pie, and traditional German sauerbraten.
- Updated and nutritious menu items – The new menus contain a variety of healthy choices and dishes for those with dietary restrictions, including options that are gluten-free, low sugar, and heart healthy.
- Daily menu marking and guidance – Team members visit and help all residents and patients complete their menus by answering any questions they have and guiding them to make the best choices.
- Easy to review menus for caregivers – For the residents who can no longer select their own menu choices because of cognitive decline, menus are sent to their families or sponsors to complete so that the residents can still enjoy their personal favorite foods.
Exciting New Dining Enhancements
There have been many other exciting new additions to the dining experience at Christian Health, including:
- Fruit and vegetable of the month – Christian Health has recently begun to feature a fruit and vegetable of the month for residents, patients and employees. “The thought behind the concept is not only to highlight fruit and vegetables that are in season but to introduce new fruits and new preparations for residents, patients and staff,” says Tamara Alvarez, Director of Dining and Nutrition Services. “Many employees have informed us that they look forward to the vegetable of the month so they can cook something new. For the residents, they may not be aware of the fruits and vegetables we are highlighting and would like to try something new.”
- Dining room service in the West Great Room – “We serve the meals from the dining room, which creates a very social setting,” says Ms. Alvarez. “Serving from the dining room provides us opportunity to present specials during the week, for example, pasta night. Breakfast with the chef is made fresh weekly in the dining room and served to the residents. The food is plated fresh, hot, and ready for consumption.” The PACU (post-acute care) dining room has also reopened, and patients are now provided restaurant-style meals, which are cooked and served in the dining room.
- Heat-on-demand upgrades for dining carts and in-room dining – “The carts allow us to put all the components of the meal on one tray without the Certified Nursing Assistants having to assemble the tray before they deliver [it],” says Ms. Alvarez. “The trays are attractive, and the [heated tray] keeps the food hot for up to an hour.”
- New plates coming soon for patients with accommodations – For patients who require pureed meals, the dining team at Christian Health is making every effort to ensure the food’s presentation is appealing. “We are going away from partition plates to provide an appetizing pureed plate of food,” says Ms. Alvarez. Patients with dementia will be served their meals on red plates; some studies show that the contrast between the bright color and the food makes it easier for patients with dementia to stay focused on eating. The color red also has appetite-stimulating effects, which can help those with dementia to finish their meal. In addition, a brand-new kitchen is in progress in the Southgate Special Care community, which will serve all of Southgate and support Ramapo Ridge Behavioral Health patients.
We are excited to share additional updates as we continue to introduce new strategies to elevate the dining experience at Christian Health.