‘Nutrition and Hydration Week’ took place last week and to support this staff from Avante Care and Support care homes from around Kent took part in a ‘Bake Off’ competition with Celebrity Chef Rosemary Shrager judging the event.
Avante Partnership, along with many other care providers across England held afternoon tea parties to help raise awareness for the importance of good food provision and good nutritional care too. Last Tuesday (18th March) Court Regis care home in Middletune Avenue, Sittingbourne was the venue for the alliance between Avante Care Home Managers with their respective Cooks from other care homes for the ‘Bake Off’.
Cakes were presented from a number of their care homes, with Rosemary and nominated residents judging them. Sophie Murray, Avante’s Head of Nutrition and Hydration had organised the “Bake Off” event which was part of a big tea party for the residents.
Afterwards Sophie said; “The staff were excited when Rosemary agreed to judge the “Bake Off” event. We have a relationship with Rosemary as last year the Cooks attended a specially-devised cookery course at the celebrity’s new cookery school in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. This was to help them in their work preparing a range of meals each day for residents, improving nutrition for those with dementia in residential care.
‘Nutrition and Hydration Week’ was introduced by the NACC (National Association of Care Caterers) and is attracting more awareness than ever, extending this year as far as Australia, India and Florida, who are also joining in by holding tea parties too.
One of the issues within care catering that is gaining increasing awareness is the problem of malnutrition. It is estimated that 8% of the elderly are at risk from malnutrition which broadly means they may be low in weight and losing weight. Malnutrition can lead to health complications, reduced quality of life and can even result in death if untreated.
Avante have been focused on working on nutrition and malnutrition with a number of initiatives specifically to support those living with dementia including fortified snacks and finger food as well as using bread machines and filtered coffee machines to promote smells to aid consumption.
Sophie Murray summarised the whole area in that it comes down to are 5 rights which are ensuring:
- Right food and drink choice
- Right texture
- Right time intervals
- Right environment
- Right care and support
Sophie continued; Never underestimate the importance of one area or the link between catering care staff and specialists in bringing these 5 areas together.”
Elsewhere other Avante Care homes were participating. Nicola Linstead, Activity Co-ordinator for Bridge Haven, Canterbury, (the home of the winning cake) said; “We had a lovely afternoon at Court Regis, there were many great cakes in the competition we could not believe it when we won, we were all on cloud nine on the way home and all caked out after trying them all, big thank you to Rosemary for choosing ours.
Throughout the week we held various ‘International Food Tasting’ days starting with a ‘British/Cockney’ day, including a cockney sing-along, lunch was pie and liquor, cockles and mussels, afterwards a cream tea and a cake decorated with the St George Cross. Then followed a ‘German’ day, we had bratwursts, frankfurt’s, bratkartoffeln, sauerkraut, strudel and of course German beer and wine!
For our ‘Irish’ day we had Irish pasties, patties, soda bread, Irish cream coffee cake with Guinness and Baileys to wash it down! ‘Spanish’ day I showed the residents my flamenco dancing (a lot of foot stamping!) they all thought it was good and some joined in – the red dress definitely caught everyone’s eye, for lunch they had chicken and noodle soup, paella, Spanish omelette , salad and churro’s (which are long Spanish doughnuts) accompanied with some sangria.”
Barnetts care home, Tunbridge Wells also held an ‘International Food Tasting’ day, inviting people to be a food critic for the Day. Visitors had a chance to taste and sample dishes from England, France, Germany, India, Mauritius, Romania, South Africa and Zanzibar!
‘Nutrition and Hydration Week 2014’ ran from the 17th – 23rd March and is a collaboration between: Hospital Caterers Association, National Association of Care Catering and Patient Safety First. Their mission is to create a global movement that will reinforce and focus, energy, activity and engagement on nutrition and hydration as an important part of quality care, experience and safety improvement in health and social care settings.