Term’s like “farm-to-table ingredients” and “scratch cooking” are not typically part of the banter around the kitchens of skilled nursing facilities—but they are commonplace throughout the CareOne community.
CareOne’s culinary professionals often partner with local farms to create innovative meals using the freshest seasonal ingredients. “Everything we prepare is fresh and cooked from scratch,” says Gina Graziano, Culinary Services Director at Harmony Village at CareOne Jackson. “Our freezers are nearly empty.”
Here’s what’s currently on the menu at CareOne:
- Plant-based offerings. CareOne’s culinary team regularly offers plant-based alternatives to traditional meat entrees. One example: On a recent “meatless Monday,” Graziano served up sliders made from chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach with a creamy avocado spread.
- Perfectly Pureed. Recognizing that residents who were on strict puree diets were losing weight, CareOne launched its innovative ‘Perfectly Pureed’ program, where pureed foods—from lasagna to pork chops—are created to look like their solid counterparts. The result: “Our creations are a feast for the eyes, as well as the taste buds,” says Graziano. Not only are the meals more appealing, but residents who participate in the program are more likely to maintain their weight.
- Infused waters. To promote hydration, CareOne chefs promote a different infused water each month. In honor of Earth Day, Graziano has been treating residents to water infused with lemon and lavender and educating residents about its healing properties.