Have you been asked to write a menu for a Group Home or Assisted Living?
Do you feel like this could be a good opportunity, but maybe it is just too time consuming?
Are you frustrated with organizing the menu so that you don’t have back-to-back menu selections (nobody wants to eat the same meat or entree day after day!)
Is it difficulty to balance facility costs with enough variety?
I do these projects a few times per year, but not as part of my regular work.
I have found that selling, developing and approving menus can be lucrative, but really time consuming.
I figured out that the hardest part is having a good pattern to follow.
Get menus written faster using this template!!
Facilities usually want updated meals with foods that their residents like – the RD doesn’t always have to decide what goes on the menu – but has to organize it.
I made this template with a few goals in mind:
- The menu is easy for the facility.
- The same meal items will not be served back to back to back.
- A variety of hot meals vs lighter soup and sandwich meals.
- Honoring customer choice.
- Being compliant with government regulations and guidelines that require menus to offer variety in food choices as well as balanced, nutritious, palatable meals.
This menu does NOT contain individual meals.
It does identify the type of meal (beef / chicken / fish). It is organized so that if a beef meal is served, the next day’s soup will be made out of beef (to help minimize food waste). This can be utilized as a pattern in the menu or changed if desired.
A pattern is also set for desserts so that a variety of types of desserts are served.
Instructions are included so that staff know what to do if somebody wants more or less food or wants different foods.
Instructions for hydration are included.
Instructions for menu substitutions are included.
A rotation of alternative entrees is included.
Breakfast is designed as ala carte but can be adapted for the needs / preferences of specific facilities.
This could be adapted to day care & camps.
It is not a menu for long term care / therapeutic diets.
Simple therapeutic modifications can be included.
Thank you Lisa for saving me so much time with this cycle menu! I found Lisa on a LTC RD Facebook page by chance and messaged her for some advice and clarification regarding menu development for care homes and she responded so quickly and was so insightful.
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