Extendicare Kapuskasing

Extendicare homes hold Summer Menu Tasting event across the country

Figure 1 Residents sampling food choices at Extendicare Bayview's menu tasting event.

Twice a year, many Extendicare long-term care homes hold seasonal menu tasting events, where residents and family members can preview upcoming menu options, choose which ones they like and offer feedback on the dishes before they are brought into a six-month rotation.

These tasting events play an important role in our ongoing commitment to enhance resident well-being and quality of life.

“The menu tasting events are an accessible way for residents, their family members and team members at the home to sample food options and offer feedback,” says Kay. In her role as dietary manager, Kay reviews the comments and suggestions from the menu tasting events, analyzes them for patterns and then makes recommendations to the chef on how the menu can be improved according to the resident community.

Sampling the new food options is a highlight for residents, especially Angela and Peter who live at Extendicare Bayview.

“I really liked the summer menu tasting event,” says Angela. “It is a fun way to try different foods. The fried napa cabbage was my favourite!”

Peter’s favourite part of the event was “having printed copy of all the menu options with descriptions of each item. It is important for me to know what is in my food.”

The impact of the menu tasting events is noticeable in the dining room, says Extendicare Oakview Place dietary manager, Jomey, from Manitoba.

“Now that the summer menu has rolled out, many residents are happy and excited to see their feedback was listened to. There are lots of empty plates and smiles!”

Although the menu tasting events happen on a bi-annual basis, we are always listening to feedback from our residents and families as partners in care. Kim, dietary manager from Extendicare Athabasca in Athabasca, AB., says “I will quite often check in with the residents and ask them how they like the menu. I also keep an eye on our kitchen to see which foods are being ordered, or not being ordered, from the residents. This way we can make proper adjustments to ensure that mealtime is more pleasurable.”

“These menu tasting events are very important,” explains Peter. “It allows residents to try new foods before they go on the menu, and also gives residents the ability to be a part of the menu decisions.”

Residents and team members across our network are already looking forward to the next menu tasting events which will be held later this year.