Recipe source: KoreanBapsang.com
Let’s talk about one way to be inclusive and how to provide access within Food Services in Long Term Care.
Adding simple ethnic recipes to your menu will not only add variety, but will also create an opportunity for your home to provide familiar food options to residents who may miss the traditional foods they ate throughout their life before moving into a LTC home. Food is only nutritious if the resident eats it. This is why LTC homes need to be able to offer a diverse menu, which can sometimes be challenging when there are so many different cultural backgrounds living together. It may take baby steps to achieve.
Take this Kimchi Recipe for example. Kimchi (fermented cabbage) is a spicy and sour side dish that can be served with rice, soup, meat, and fish dishes. Some of our LTC residents may love seeing this on the menu or perhaps as a side offering. This particular kimchi recipe has been tested in our “Orange Lily Kitchen” (pics). Sure, it may be simple to purchase kimchi from a food supplier, but it’s important to consider the long term sustainability of this. Some tips we have for you to be able to adapt a specialty or cultural food into your LTC home are:
- Start by reviewing what tools are available for your LTC staff to use (ie. you can reduce the time for preparation by using a small food processor for the spices!)
- Educate the Cook(s) and Dietary Aides with visuals (ie. pictures, live demos, videos)
- Introduce and educate staff and residents about the importance of providing access to cultural foods
- Captivate them (ie. taste tests)
- Test it out.
- And try new things one at a time and build it into your menu!
Achieving access and promoting inclusion within LTC Food Services would not only enhance residents’ dining experiences, but also strengthen and build upon the skills of staff. And this is why we love what we do!