Brakes launches comprehensive package for care home sector

Brakes has partnered with foodservice suppliers, care home experts and the British Dietetic Association (BDA), to launch a new programme of support for the care home sector.

The support is intended to provide caterers with the knowledge and skill they need to serve a wide range of nutritionally balanced, appealing and high quality food solutions to meet the catering demands of the care home sector.

The number of places in residential care homes is forecast to rise from around 450,000 to 1.3 million by 2031, with food a key part of the care package. The Brakes programme includes a new Care Home Food Guide, online support and a free online training programme, developed in partnership with Nestlé Professional, specifically for caterers.

The Care Home Food Guide was developed with Brakes’ team of nutritionists, using insight from industry experts and major care home providers, such as Four Seasons Healthcare, and recognised guidance from the BDA’s The Nutrition and Hydration Digest: Improving Outcomes through Food and Beverage Services.  The BDA has also officially recognised the guide, providing the foreword.

The guide, which is also available online, includes relevant menu cycles and recipes, and offers practical advice on serving food that residents will enjoy but that also provides the nutrients they require, covering many areas including the five major topics directly affecting the dietary requirements of people in long-term healthcare, including; a balanced diet, avoiding malnutrition, dysphagia, diabetes and dementia.

Brakes has also worked closely with Robot Coupe, a food preparation equipment specialist, to ensure all menu options can be pureed and presented in an appetising manner. Pureed meals help to maintain resident independence, and can even be presented to look like the un-pureed ingredients, ensuring residents get the nutrients they require in an appetising format and dignity is maintained.

The free, online training programme, which launches in January, has been designed to meet the specific requirements of caterers working within the care home sector and offers an easy to follow online training course.

Eileen Steinbock, Brakes head of health and nutrition, said: “Delivering appetising food, that also meets a wide and complex variety of nutritional requirements, is no easy task but the new programme of support condenses a wealth of expert advice from within the industry, making it as easy as possible for caterers to meet resident needs.

“Whether caterers are preparing meals from scratch or using pre-prepared meals, Brakes can provide solutions that fit the specific requirements different businesses face. One of the key requirements is relevant training, so the free training programme should provide much needed support for caterers currently working within the sector and those just entering. The course is easy to follow and ensures that caterers working within the sector understand how nutritious food can positively affect resident wellbeing.”

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