Nursing Homes: Cooking From The Heart

Paula Weaver of Mission Health Services

Long-term care has improved greatly and continues to do so in terms of food and dining -especially at Mission Health Services. By providing social experiences, flexibility and choices, open kitchens for our residents, and an experience dietitian, Mission Health Services truly cooks from the heart.

Dining as a enjoyable way to socialize

Mission Health Services understands that a lot of activity centers on food and dining. This is reflected in how residents look forward to each meal and see eating as an opportunity to eat great food and socialize with others. The dining experience is more than calories, protein, vitamins and minerals. The kitchens are the center of Mission Health Services nursing homes, just as they would be for any traditional home.

One great example of this is at our Hillside location where a Wednesday buffet has been created. The staff and residents are offered a brunch buffet with a variety of items. Staff helps to serve the residents and then enjoy sitting with residents for a group dining experience that is meaningful. Residents and staff look forward to this opportunity to socialize each Wednesday.

Another example of joyful dining is the great activities that center on cooking. Baking pies, making cookies, and cooking classes are just a few examples of the activities offered whereby residents help to prepare and cook a variety of foods. Afternoon tea is offered for those who are interested and birthday celebrations of each resident are sure to include cake and other favorite desserts.

Flexibility and choices

Mission Health Services believes that residents should be offered choice and options wherever possible. This is especially true in the kitchen. Meals are not confined to one menu option with a possible alternate. The Mission dining staff provides each resident with whatever food item he/she might request. All of the Mission Health Services’ locations provide a continental breakfast and made-to-order brunch. And, continental breakfast is provided throughout the morning so residents who prefer to sleep late in the morning can do so. Made-to-order brunch provides residents with an opportunity to choose what they would like from a nearly endless list of breakfast and lunch options. Residents’ choices come first and the dining staff will provide whatever requests residents might have. For example, if a resident with a picky appetite requests tomato soup for each meal, each day, Mission Health Services is happy to honor his/her wishes.

Open kitchens for residents and families

At each of the Mission Health Services five locations, residents are provided with a kitchen for preparing their own meals. Families are encouraged to use the kitchens with their love ones to create and enjoy a family meal together.

The fridges and cupboards in each of the kitchens are stocked with snacks and food for residents to enjoy when they please. Residents have the freedom to make a snack for themselves at anytime of the day or night–even if this means a snack in the middle of the night.

Experienced registered dietitian

An experienced registered dietitian is available at all locations. Although this does not mean that resident diets are overly restricted or confined. Diet restrictions are liberalized so the resident can receive quality care while enjoying great food. Often nursing home meals are thought to be much like the stereotypical “hospital food” without taste and flavor. However, Mission Health Services’ cooks strive to provide fresh and appetizing choices for residents. Most meals are cooked from scratch—avoiding all the damaging effects of processed food that may contain increased fat and sodium, but little taste. At Mission Health Services, meals are cooked with love from dining staff that care.

Mission Health Services

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