We’ve all heard the expressions, “You are what you eat” and “Variety is the spice of Life.” At Paul’s Run, both sentiments are reflected in the range of foods and dining options available to residents every day. March is National Nutrition Month. We turned to Dan Connell, the General Manager of dining services at Paul’s Run and Chief Dietitian, Lauren Shubert RD, LDN to explain some of the behind-the-scenes planning that goes into the Paul’s Run healthy and delicious dining experience.
Eating well is important at any age, and for the aging adult, healthy eating plays a key role in maintaining mental and physical well-being. Plus, for seniors, a nutritious and enjoyable meal can be something they truly look forward to and a highpoint of the day.
At Paul’s Run, Liberty Lutheran’s Continuous Care Retirement Community in Northeast Philadelphia, a crew of more than a dozen people prepares the food each day. In addition to daily meals for residents, the food staff provides meals for employees, does catering for the retirement community and runs the Liberty Grill, which is a café-style dining option in addition to the regular dining room.
A Look at the Numbers
- In 2013, the dining service staff turned out a total of 396,000 meals of all kinds.
- Each month, it prepares about 25,000 breakfast, lunch and dinner meals just for residents.
Last year, Paul’s Run residents consumed:
- 80,000 bananas
- 8,000 gallons of regular, skin and chocolate milk
- 3,500 loaves of white bread (though they serve many other kinds of bread, rolls, bagels, etc.)
- 1,500 gallons of regular ice cream. (again, not counting diet and other types of ice cream dishes they offer)
It is a team effort to ensure residents are served the appropriate food while also having choices. The nutrition staff meets with new residents shortly after they arrive to learn their food preferences (including religious preferences) and takes steps to honor them. Constant communication between the nutrition team and dining staff make sure many different diets and preferences are being met.
The menu is planned on a five week cycle which changes every six months. The dining managers attend monthly food committee meetings with the residents to discuss menu items that the residents want to see on the menu or items that may need to be prepared differently. Paul’s Run also offers a wide array of menu alternatives that can be ordered, if a resident doesn’t care for the main menu items that day.
Because mature adults can face eating challenges, the menu may include several adaptations to address chewing and swallowing issues, religious preferences, food intolerances/allergies and diet restrictions. For instance, if there is Chicken Parmesan on the menu for a particular meal, the staff may need to also prepare plain baked chicken without tomato sauce and cheese, ground chicken and pureed chicken.
Paul’s Run staff rarely says “No” to a food request. They strives to give residents what they want, when they want it and how they want it. The menu offers a combination of comfort foods, lighter fare and also some ethnic and vegetarian choices to appeal to many different palates.
Beyond daily meals, the dining service also supplies food for holiday buffets, an annual outdoor barbeque, special dishes throughout the year, chef-led cooking demonstrations, and a variety of events and celebrations for residents.
Everyone loves to eat and at Paul’s Run, tasty, nutritious selections are always on the menu!
Click here for more information about living at Paul’s Run or contact BJ Maul at 215-934-3011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.