By Chef Jim Mahler
As director of food and beverages at an independent senior living community, I am noticing a new trend in senior dining: Foodies!
A foodie can be defined as person who has an avid interest in new food fads. You may think this only applies to younger people, but that is not the case. Older Americans are jumping on the foodie wagon, and we have adjusted our menus to meet the growing needs of our residents.
Smoothies, vegan menus and other healthy food trends are not only popular among millennials anymore. Healthy eating is becoming a hot topic for older adults too. Nationally, facilities like The Nottingham are adapting new menus and providing a wider variety of options as baby boomers demonstrate a desire for a heathier and more sophisticated palette.
However, many older adults note that they don’t have the vigorous appetite that they once had — and are now replacing three large meals a day with smaller portions and more frequent snacks. They don’t enjoy the same foods as when they were younger, and they may even face restricted diets due to health concerns. This can present a challenge for older adults, especially when maintaining a healthy diet is so vital as we age.
That is why we are constantly upgrading our menu, making sure we provide healthy and nutritious alternatives, but we are having some fun with our new food fads too.
Recently, we unveiled a new menu item with a twist at the Nottingham Independent Living Community. We hosted a smoothie-making demonstration for our residents, and let them be the judge for the newest flavor.
We presented three different flavors ranging from the fruity to the green:
1. Strawberry banana smoothie
2. Carrot pineapple smoothie
3. Apple spinach avocado with yogurt smoothie
Residents sampled all three and voted on their newest menu item. And the winner is … carrot pineapple smoothie! We’d like to share our simple and nutritious recipe with you:
2 cups chopped pineapple
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup ice
½ cup orange juice
Mix in blender until smooth and enjoy!
Jim Mahler is the executive chef and director of food and beverages at The Nottingham.