Menus for assisted living facilities are constantly changing to satisfy their residents. Today’s seniors – many of whom are from the baby boomer generation – have very different needs and expectations than their predecessors.
The new population of older adults tends to be educated, well-traveled and affluent, and all of these factors must be considered in planning meals and snacks. Baby boomers are redefining menus for assisted living facilities. Below, we take a look at some of the top food menu program trends for 2018.
Focus on Variety
Baby boomers expect variety, so menus for assisted living facilities are expanding to provide a wider range of meal and snack options. International cuisine, local favorites, seasonal foods and more are interspersed with much-loved classics to create inspiring, varied menus.
Flexible Meal Solutions
These days, seniors prefer a casual dining environment with few restrictions. To that end, instead of set hours for meals and snacks, adult care centers are aiming for flexibility. Nutritional needs are met, but residents can come and go as they like.
Today’s adult care centers are putting a larger focus on food quality. Baby boomers demand the best, and institutional-style menus that feature processed foods offer little appeal. So, assisted living facility residents and their guests are now served restaurant-quality meals inspired by the latest trends.
Fresh Food Around the Clock
Fresh foods used to be reserved for meals – snacks consisted of prepackaged or processed foods like graham crackers, gelatin and pudding. That’s no longer the case today. Residents of adult care facilities can snack on fresh fruit, freshly-baked muffins, hot-from-the-oven cookies and many other fresh foods.
Buying local has gone beyond a trend to become an expectation for baby boomers. Seniors appreciate seeing locally-sourced foods from vendors of distinction on the menu. To boost resident satisfaction, adult care centers are now getting many of their foods from nearby farms, local artisans and in-town food producers.
Themed Meals and Celebrations
Baby boomers grew up attending social activities and gatherings that involved food – birthdays, holidays, graduations, anniversaries were all occasions to entertain, and many seniors held frequent dinner parties. Adult care facilities are working to create this type of social atmosphere by holding themed meals featuring fun party foods and upscale menu options.
When it comes to menus for assisted living facilities, resident satisfaction is crucial. Meals and snacks need to be delicious and appealing to keep seniors happy – but at the same time, the food menu program needs to provide proper nutrition.
Grove Menus makes it easy to meet both the nutritional needs and meal expectations of today’s seniors. Our cost-effective software system, with a suite of user-friendly food menu program tools, allows adult care centers to change with the times – without increasing their food service budget.
The Grove Menus software system includes hundreds of adjustable dietitian-approved recipes for seniors, which saves on the expense of keeping a registered dietitian on staff. Our food menu program also facilitates food ordering and meal production to save time and reduce waste.
For more information about the Grove Menus software system, or to schedule a complimentary, no-hassle demonstration of how our food menu program will help you create on-trend menus for assisted living facilities, contact us today.