Sensory stimulation has long been recognised as a way of promoting feelings of well-being. And serving familiar foods in care and nursing homes is one way to achieve this, with summer being the perfect time to perk up menus and help bring back happy memories for residents.
“Our senses – sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch – connect us with the world around us and sensory stimulation using different types of food can create positive experiences,” says Gordon Lauder, managing director of frozen food distributor Central Foods.
“I reckon that ice cream must be one of the best foods to help bring back great memories of long summer days or childhood trips to the park or seaside or afternoon matinees at the cinema.
“Happily, ice cream is one of those products that’s easy to have to hand, and can be served in a variety of ways, whether that’s as an accompaniment to a dessert, on its own or in a tub or cone. It’s the perfect summer treat but also a great addition to any cinema afternoons organised in care or nursing homes as entertainment events.”
To cater for a range of different dietary requirements, try something like a non-dairy, ice cream style dessert, which is dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, cholesterol-free, vegan and kosher, and yet is still deliciously creamy, says Gordon.
“One of the beauties of this type of dessert is that not only is it suitable for so many, it is light, refreshing and can be served in different portion sizes too – to suit different appetites. It also comes in some great-tasting flavours, which are sure to be popular,” he adds.
If operators are looking for summer menu inspiration, frozen desserts are ideal.
“Desserts that are easy to defrost and serve, taste delicious and look good, are perfect for care and nursing homes,” adds Gordon.
“Lighter desserts tend to be popular in the summer months – so items like roulades and pavlovas go down well. Again, the ones we offer, are gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians, so these sorts of desserts are great because they will suit a variety of residents with different dietary requirements just as well as those who aren’t following a specific diet.”
Northamptonshire-based Central Foods offers a one-stop shop to the foodservice sector, including care and nursing homes, supplying more than 400 different sweet and savoury lines, including, desserts and puddings, as well as products suitable for those with specific dietary requirements.