Menu Planning for Elder Nutrition Programs Jennifer Miller, MS, RD, LD/N First Quarter, 2010
Elder Nutrition Program Menus • I. Menu Development • II. Menu Cycle • II. Menu Approval • III. Menu Posting • IV. Menu Substitutions • V. Home Delivered Meals
Menu Development • Menus shall be planned and provided to the reviewer no less than six calendar weeks before putting into service
Menu Development • Must be at least a four-week cycle • Must use the same method of development for the whole cycle • Meal Pattern • Computer-Assisted Nutrient Analysis • Must meet nutritional standards • Does not need to be the same menu for both congregate and home delivered meals
Menu Development • Different food combinations • Variety of colors, flavors, textures Which is more appealing?
Menu Development • Repetition • Avoid using the same item on consecutive days
Menu Development • Consider • Special needs of the elderly* • Possibly low salt, low fat • Possibly soft foods, easy to chew *Modified diets must be documented and on file for each individual receiving it. The order should be reviewed annually.
Menu Development - Considerations • Religious, ethnic, cultural foodpreferences • Catholic practices? • Fish on Fridays during Lent • Hispanic/Mexican preferences? • Rice vs. noodles • What preferences are in your county?
Menu Development • More Considerations • Seasonal availability
Menu Development • More considerations • Availability of kitchen equipment • Two items needing the same oven?
Menu Development • Additional considerations • Budget • Meat is the costliest part of the menu • Choose different cuts • Recognize when a less-expensive meat can be substituted • Fresh fruit and vegetables vs. canned/frozen • Remember to consider seasonal availability
Menu Development • Provide completed menu to reviewer at leastsix calendar weeks in advance of implementation
Menu Approval • Your site nutritionist will approve the menu at leastfour calendar weeks prior to implementation • All menus must be approved in writing by a Qualified Dietitian • The Food Vendor’s dietitian MAY NOT approve the menus – conflict of interest!
Menu Approval • DOEA Required Documentation: • Name and title of person who completed the menu • Name and title of person who approved the menu • Meal pattern with portion sizes and identified serving utensils
Menu Approval • Date and post approved menus in a noticeable location at each congregate nutrition site • Font size must be 14-pt or larger for easy reading • Nutrition programs that prepare meals must also post the menu in the food prep area
Menu Adherence • Once a menu is approved and posted it must be followed as written. • Changing menu items can affect: • visual appeal • nutritional benefit • could result in repeat food items from day to day
Menu Substitutions If you must make menu changes: • Keep them to a minimum ! • Qualified Dietitian must approve menu changes • DOEA allows changes in some circumstances
Menu Substitutions • DOEA approves menu changes only when: • Substitutions are from the same food group • Replacement item must provide equal nutrition value ≠
Menu Substitutions • DOEA also requires DOCUMENTATION! • Date of substitution • Original menu item • Substitution used • Reason for the change • Signature of employee authorizing the change • All substitutions must be documented and kept on file for at least one fiscal year
Menu Substitutions • Documentation… • Name the items required by DOEA for documentation • Date of substitution • Original menu item • Substitution used • Reason for the change • Signature of employee authorizing the change • All substitutions must be documented and kept on file for at least one fiscal year
Home Delivered Frozen Meals • At delivery the temperature of the food should be 20oF or colder; or frozen solid • Meals must be dated and labeled • Storage and cooking instructions should be in large print
Home Delivered Frozen Meals • Assess the client’s: • Ability to follow directions • Physical • Mental • Inability to follow instructions • Emphasize the importance of following directions on an on-going basis
Home Delivered Frozen Meals • Client/Home Evaluation Form • Physical evaluation • Mobility, coordination, stability • Eyesight • Glasses? All the time or only for specific need? Magnifying glass? • Ability to move around in the kitchen • Usability, narrow walkway
Home Delivered Frozen Meals • Client/Home Evaluation Form • Ability to perform small motor tasks • Arthritis, amputations • Mental evaluation • Alzheimer’s, confusion
Home Delivered Frozen Meals Client/Home Evaluation Form Kitchen Facilities • Is there a way to keep the meal cold/frozen? • Working refrigerator • Working freezer
Home Delivered Frozen Meals Kitchen Facilities, continued • Is there a way to cook/heat the meal? • Working oven • Working toaster oven • Working microwave