February 9, 2024

Nutrition & Creativity: Inside Senior Dining at Arrow Senior Living

Category: Culinary

Author: Alyssa Bruns, Managing Director of Culinary Operations

There are a few factors always to consider when it comes to senior living. One of the main considerations should be food and the overall dining experience. With that comes the delicate balance of culinary creativity and nutritional precision, the nuanced dance that unfolds within our dining rooms.

At Arrow Senior Living, we commit ourselves to ensuring the vitality, happiness, and longevity of those we serve. Join us where the aroma of carefully prepared dishes mingles with the laughter of shared stories as we explore the significance of nutrition while unveiling some of the secrets behind our thoughtfully curated menus. 

I always exercise caution when using salt in my dishes. I’ve discovered that flavor can be enhanced by incorporating salt-free spices and marinades. You can infuse many flavors before cooking, and that intern will help with not needing as much salt. I always keep sodium in mind when cooking for my residents. Canned products and soup bases typically contain high levels of sodium. Chicken, vegetable, and beef stock are easy to make with products we always have on hand. By making it ourselves, we can regulate the salt content.

Health-Conscious Suggestion

If a health-conscious resident were to ask me to suggest an entrée, it would be shrimp stir fry. This flavorful and filling dish is a base of brown rice, with quickly sautéed fresh vegetables, topped with marinated grilled shrimp.

An item on my menu that focuses on nutrition is protein smoothies. I started making batches of protein smoothies to help some residents get the needed nutrients. I made some with dark chocolate, peanut butter, and banana. We make a tropical-flavored option by using coconut milk as the base. You can get creative with smoothie flavors and find easy ways to hide some vegetables.

For residents needing to gain weight, I suggest milkshakes! Everyone loves a good milkshake. They are easy to make, and you can make multiple creations and flavors that fall in line with “comfort foods” and are nostalgic for our residents.

I love food and experiencing new meals, menus, and restaurants. So, I allow myself to splurge occasionally, but I tend to order from the healthier side of the menu and entree options. Food is fuel, and you must fuel your body correctly to keep going. I am always thinking about good fuel options. Healthy snacking is essential as well. A healthy snack option is edamame. It is my go-to. Just microwave a frozen bag, add a pinch of salt, and enjoy. It’s a fresh, crisp, nutritious snack.

My one guilty pleasure snack is chocolate-covered pretzels. I cannot resist this salty, sweet favorite.

What we’ve uncovered is more than a celebration of diverse flavors and textures. It’s a testament to the commitment to prioritize the nutritional well-being of our residents. The kitchen remains the heart of our senior living experiences, and we hope the flavors shared resonate and linger in your thoughts. The creative spark in our kitchen isn’t just about pushing culinary boundaries. It’s about crafting delicious meals and a source of nourishment for our residents. I hope this inspires continued conversations about the importance of nutrition, creativity in culinary arts, and the everlasting impact they have on the lives of our older adults. 

Saint Charles, Missouri-based Arrow Senior Living manages a portfolio of communities that offer varying levels of care, including independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Each and every senior living community supports residents by focusing on dignity, respect, and quality of life. The programs and amenities offered are selected to provide only the highest standard of quality and comfort.

Find an Arrow community near you
Work at Arrow Senior Living

Follow Us

Copyright © 2024 Arrow Senior Living. All rights reserved.