The health and well-being of residents is our number one priority at all Kingston locations. To maintain these statures, we provide healthy meals that meet the various needs of each resident.
We recently talked with Angie Flynn, a registered diet technician from Kingston Care Center of Sylvania, and Chef Tony Quintana at Kingston Residence of Santa Fe and they explained how they’re able to maintain healthy standards.
Question: How are you able to accommodate the many restricted diets residents are on for health reasons?
Answer: “Our menus are with consideration with heart health,” said Chef Tony. “We use no salt, fresh herbs when available, and all ingredients are organic. Residents can interchange any option they would like and our alternative menu is extensive.”
Q: Where do you get your food from (i.e. is it fresh? Local? Frozen? etc.)
A: “All of our food is provided by a reputable food service provider and maintained at the highest standards for quality and freshness as the population we serve are more susceptible to food borne illnesses,” Angie said. “A Registered Dietitian oversees the food service operation. There is ongoing observation and supervision of the dietary department to ensure the staff are competent in the rules and regulations.”
Q: How are the chefs trained?
A: “I do most of the training,” said Chef Tony, “but all our chefs have restaurant experience.”
Q: How important is diet for residents at Kingston?
A: “We acknowledge the importance of the dining experience and nutrition for the quality of life of our residents,” said Angie. “A nutritional menu that is created by a Registered Dietitian who partners with the Culinary Services team and our residents is the base of building this experience.”
Q: Do they accommodate special requests?
A: “At times a resident may not have a good appetite and struggle with their nutrition,” said Angie. “To the resident, the only thing that may sound appealing to eat is a recipe from their past like ‘Mom’s special Chicken and Dumplings’ that their family makes at home. Families are able and encouraged to bring these in for their loved one.”
Q: How do they go about building a menu? Does it change daily?
A: “Health care is always evolving as new research and programs arise. Kingston is able to keep up with new guidelines,” Angie said. “The skilled nursing facilities utilizes the ‘National Dysphagia Diet’ guidelines to help ensure the most appropriate and least restrictive diet texture options are available to our residents that have chewing and swallowing difficulties.”
Q: Do the chefs and dieticians work together to create food choices/menus?
A: “All my staff has input, especially the servers,” said Chef Tony. “They have the most one-to-one contact with our residents so they know what residents are looking for and want to eat.”