With hotter weather, it is not uncommon for residents to experience reduced appetite.
Frail and elderly people can lose weight easily in a short amount of time and those who are especially vulnerable should be closely monitored when hot weather hits.
Here are our top 4 tips for summer menu planning:
1) Ensure adequate nutritional intake
Two main areas to focus on are protein and dietary fibre.
Summer meals tend to be lighter, with more vegetables, fruits and salads in the repertoire. While these are important to include on a menu, continue to offer ample amounts of protein based foods, especially fish, meats and eggs.
Adequate fibre intake is vital to good digestive function. Plant based foods such as fruit, vegetables and grains all contain fibre and are readily available over the warmer months.
2) Include mid-meals
While a menu focus is on three main meals of the day, offer nutritious mid-meals or substantial snacks in-between. If your residents prefer savoury options, check out these Finger Food recipes for some inspiration.
3) Hydration is essential
As the weather warms up, ensuring optimal hydration can be a challenge particularly with residents who have dementia and simply forget to eat and drink.
While soup is a classic winter dish, many residents love their soups all year round. Soups can satisfy both nutritional, fibre and hydration needs in one handy bowl!
Try some of these delicious recipes:
Alternate offering traditional hot teas with more refreshing iced-tea options. Try these hydrating and flavourful Iced Tea recipes.
Chilled water is the simplest and best way to stay hydrated on a hot day. Add fresh lemon juice to stimulate liver function and boost the immune system. Other fruits such as strawberries and orange can also be added for flavour.
4) Offer more seasonal produce
Summer brings an abundance of tasty fruit and vegetables that are at their best when in season. Incorporate them in your summer menu as much as possible to help enhance dining experiences through aromatic, visually appealing and delicious seasonal produce.