Wellbeing, Food & Drink Week
Wellbeing, Food & Drink Week at Signature begins on the 26th of September. We will be highlighting the importance of nutritious and balanced eating and drinking, and how this can have a greater impact in later life.
The program’s activities are detailed below, please follow our Facebook page here for more updates!
Health, food and wellbeing is covered today as a great kick off for the week which will be celebrated with popular snacks and ways to make them that little bit healthier – ice cream is a hugely popular snack and can be enhanced with protein powders for those needing a little more protein, especially if they are eating less. Toppings such as ground nuts and fresh strawberries can be really tempting too
Our underlying health concern is malnutrition which may not be a term that we associate with the UK but in reality up to 40% or residents may be malnourished when they move in to a care home for a number of reasons. Malnourishment is screened using a validated tool that uses a person’s body mass index (weight and height) to gauge if a person is at risk AS WELL AS looking at a weight loss pattern over 3-6 months. There are easier ways such as asking if appetite has reduced and if clothes or jewellery has become more loose. Once it is identified and the factors behind it understood, an approach to making each mouthful count is taken and where possible using prime nutrition to do this.
Today we are also celebrating our partnership with Vegetarian for Life, a great organisation which provide support and innovative recipes that are plant based
The underlying theme today is balancing blood sugar which we achieve through a balanced diet including fibre, protein and fast as well as starchy carbohydrates and sugars. It explores how in turn this balanced diet can help maintain our energy levels. This is relevant for us all including those with diabetes. We support the Diabetes UK position statement that there is ‘no such thing as a diabetic diet’ or diabetic foods, something producers are not able to state anymore. However there is a balance to be reached as medication which has advanced greatly in recent years can compliment a persons diet to manage the condition. We may have some cakes that we have lowered sugar in and added a little fibre through the menus beyond the 5 a day offering from fruit and vegetables and the Chefs have made sure it is based on great tastes.
On Wednesday it’s all about hydration and yes, tea and coffee does count thankfully – we expel the myth that coffee is diuretic based on the flawed study many years ago ALTHOUGH that is not to say excess caffeine, a psychoactive drug, is of benefit in high quantities either!
We know hydration is important but try to show how we try to encourage inventive ideas including mocktails and cocktails as well as encouraging mugs and larger glasses for drinks for those favourite hot drinks. Simple awareness includes guessing how much fluid is within a mug and finding great large handled mugs that are easy to hold. Some research suggests care offerings of fluid happens on 7 occasions a day but the amount can vary in each cup so a 300ml cup will be much better than the smaller cups and saucers where possible and lovely varieties of drinks help to make it attractive too. We already use the ground coffee beans in our machines as well as offering popular brands of teas, fruit infusions, juices and infused waters and for those who find drinking enough harder, we have the fluid rich foods such as watermelon and jellies offered regularly too.
On Thursday we look at how to maintain muscles through exercise and protein together and help to promote the awareness as to the importance of protein for every cell in the body, not just the muscles. Protein actually helps produce digestive enzymes which in turn help digestion and we all need for healing too. We follow guidance within menus to ensure we provide enough to residents, including those with lowered appetites which includes our snack range too and supper snacks before bed to help maintain insulin levels overnight without being too full. Our snacks today have a protein focus although we are aware that too much protein is not always good for those with compromised kidney function.
On Friday we raise awareness on fibre, knowing healthy adults need 30g of fibre a day but the foods vary greatly including all important vegetables. We have added fibre in to homemade soups and some other popular items and it is a reminder to promote the wholemeal options of popular carbohydrates including rice and bread. Today we also look at seasonality which is so fitting with harvest festival time and coinciding with Love British Food Week so we are celebrating apples today too. To show this commitment we have joined Love British Food initiative as partners too
Join in to our afternoon quizzes and crosswords on each topic as well as pop up talks happening
Enjoy the week!