When you live in such a diverse country as the United States, it stands to reason that not everyone wants the “typical American menu” due to religious or cultural beliefs, especially around the holidays. People under your care may wish to eat Kosher or Halal. This requires food to be prepared and served in certain ways and many do not eat dairy products and meat products at the same meal. They may have grown up eating certain foods that bring back fond memories when they eat them today. Falafel, latkes, tamales, or even tres leches cake can bring a smile to your resident’s face as they remember times gone by.
Where someone grew up can also influence dietary choices. Someone from the South might crave grits and shrimp or enjoy pecan pie. Someone from Philadelphia might want a cheese steak sandwich or scrapple for breakfast as these foods remind them of home. A vegetarian might like a different take on the way their vegetables are served, such as grilling broccoli, instead of just steaming it, or want tofu to be substituted for the chicken in a stir-fry.
The point is these preferences must become a responsibility of dining services and team members must proactively interview residents and keep track of their food preferences. It is not an option, it is a federal requirement under standard 483.60 food and nutrition services, menus and nutritional adequacy section, tag F-803. Asking about these preferences is not enough. Dining staff must routinely document that a person was asked what matters most to him or her regarding meals. It is their right.
To help your staff record your resident’s preference, we want to give you this FREE form that makes it easy to take down all the information you need to keep track of what, when and where people want to eat.