Your food menu program can celebrate Thanksgiving all month long with our holiday-themed tips and tricks.
Seniors in assisted living facilities assign special meaning to the holiday season. Unfortunately, some residents experience sadness during this time of the year, related to their loss of independence and holiday traditions. Special events and celebrations are uniquely effective for helping senior residents find joy.
Fill your facility’s November with the spirit of Thanksgiving with these creative food menu ideas.
Expand Traditional Thanksgiving Meals in Your Food Menu Program
Most assisted living centers offer a traditional dinner on Thanksgiving Day, complete with well-loved favorites like roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing and cranberry sauce. The holiday feast is reminiscent of those enjoyed in years past and helps to bring back happy Thanksgiving memories.
Families and friends are often invited to attend; however, sometimes scheduling can make it difficult to get together on the holiday itself. To ensure that no one misses out, consider having more than one complete Thanksgiving feast. Adding a second celebration to your menu program – or serving versions of the feast throughout the holiday weekend – could allow more of your seniors to enjoy a traditional dinner with their loved ones.
Add Recipes Inspired by Thanksgiving Leftovers to Your Food Menus
One of the best-loved aspects of Thanksgiving dinner is enjoying the leftovers. This month, take some inspiration from traditional leftover dishes in planning your senior food menus.
Homemade turkey soup is a crowd-pleaser, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming for your food service staff. Simmer the bones from your roasted Thanksgiving turkeys to produce a rich, healthy stock, then add rice, veggies and cream. You can also add shredded turkey to a variety of casseroles and skillet dishes, or use it in place of chicken in some of your current menu program recipes.
Finally, don’t forget the classic favorite, turkey sandwiches. Make them with some lettuce and tomato, or go Pilgrim-style and add stuffing and cranberry sauce.
Add Thanksgiving Desserts to Your November Food Menu Program
What’s Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Although you’ll likely offer holiday-themed sweet treats as part of your traditional dinner, you can also add them as dessert choices for your assisted living menus throughout the month. Senior residents will appreciate having extra opportunities to savor these holiday-themed favorites.
Think about taking the seasonal fall flavors of these beloved Thanksgiving pies and using them in other November desserts. Pumpkin cheesecake and cake rolls are popular choices, but seniors also enjoy pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.
Healthy sweet potatoes work well in many different baked goods, like cakes and puddings. Of course, you can substitute sweet potatoes in just about any pumpkin dessert.
Whatever choices you select for your holiday menu planning, have fun with it. This guarantees that your senior residents will too.
If you would like more seasonal menu ideas and help improving your assisted living food services, contact Grove Menus today. Our innovative meal planning solution for nursing homes and assisted living facilities is designed to improve the flavors and nutritional value of your menus. It will also save you both time and costs all year long, on all facets of your food menu programs.