healthcare food trends

As 2019 comes to a close, we want to look back on the year and what we can learn from it before we move into 2020.

We’ve rounded up some of our most popular articles from the year so you can see what topics other long-term healthcare communities are interested in. We’ve also gone through some of the most popular food trends from the past year. If you missed any of these trends, take a look and think about how you can introduce them to your residents in 2020 and beyond.

What Topics Did You Care About in 2019?

We recently went through our data and found the blogs from 2019 that our readers were most interested in. The results may surprise you!

  1. What’s The Gut-brain Axis? How Gut Health Improves Brain Health

This blog was all about the Enteric Nervous System and how food can influence brain function. Scientists refer to the Enteric Nervous System as a person’s “second brain.” The vagus nerve is a large nerve that connects the gut and the brain, and the food a person eats can affect the communication between these two parts of the body. Studies have shown that changes in gut bacteria are possibly linked to certain diseases and conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding this can help you provide better care for your residents with conditions affected by the gut-brain axis.

  1. The Advantages of Liberalized Diets

This blog compares therapeutic diets to liberalized diets. Therapeutic diets are meal plans that prevent and combat diseases. They can be restrictive and unappetizing to residents in your community. Liberalized diets, on the other hand, take your residents’ food preferences into account while still being healthy. They can improve the quality of life for residents and make them more excited about mealtime. Read this blog to learn how to implement a liberalized diet program in your community.

  1. Your Dietitian & Food Service Director: Are they a team?

It’s crucial that your Dietician and Food Service Director work well together. Both are extremely important parts of your community’s dining program. This blog discusses what each person’s roles and responsibilities should be and how you can make sure they are working together to meet your residents’ needs.

  1. How to Create an Inclusive Menu for Your Residents

While our liberalized diets blog focused more on your residents’ food preferences, this blog about inclusive menus is about being mindful of their different backgrounds. Inclusive menus can make your residents feel included, understood, and welcomed in your community. This blog talks about the best ways to learn your residents’ cultural and regional food preferences. We also tell you how you can set up a food committee meeting to gain even more information about what your residents want to be served.

2019’s Top Trends 

Each year, a new crop of food trends pops up. We like to keep the communities we work with informed about the newest trends on the culinary scene so they can update their menus accordingly. Here are three trends from this past year that you should know about.

  1. Becoming a Localvore

Similar to farm-to-table, this trend is about farm-to-facility. A localvore is someone who chooses to only eat food that’s grown and made locally. We’re not saying that you need to make sure all of the food you serve to your residents should come from local producers, but this blog discusses smaller ways you can bring the trend to your dining program. We talk about how you can shop the farmers market, form relationships with local farmers and food producers, and even grow your own food.

  1. Plant-Based Food

With plant-based burgers being served at fast-food restaurants around the country, it’s safe to say that this trend is here to stay. Younger consumers, even those who aren’t vegan or vegetarian, have started to seek out tasty, plant-based alternatives to their favorite foods in order to stay healthy. Check out this article to learn how one health center made a commitment to serve delicious, plant-based meals, like Vietnamese grain bowls. If you’re interested in incorporating this trend into your dining program’s menus, we’d be happy to help. Contact us here to learn more.

  1. Independent Eating

For people at senior-living communities, being able to eat independently is essential for a more dignified dining experience. Those with conditions like dysphagia, dementia, and malnourishment may have difficulty eating, so it’s important to create programs that make the dining experience more enjoyable for them by helping them eat independently. This blog discusses three programs that Culinary Services Group offers to help these residents: A textured-modified foods program, a finger foods program, and a fortified foods program.

Looking Forward to 2020 

Culinary Services Group makes it a priority for all of our staff to be up-to-date on the latest research, innovations, and trends in the food industry. As we move into 2020, you can count on us to keep you posted about everything you need to know.

We also wanted to take a moment to say thank you for a great 2019. Together we’ve improved the lives of thousands of people at communities across the country, and we can’t wait to continue our mission next year.

If you’d like some help implementing any of the trends or topics we talked about above at your community, feel free to contact us here. And also don’t hesitate to contact us if there’s anything you’d like us to cover in 2020 or any emerging trends at your community you want us to know about.

Culinary Services Group

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