Proper nutrition is essential for people of all ages, including seniors! Eating a well-balanced diet gives older adults what they need to stay strong physically and mentally so they can enjoy independent living for as long as possible.
At St. Anthony’s, we make nutrition a top priority with dining for all residents, from memory care and assisted living to independent living. We believe our residents deserve the absolute best. The best flavors, experiences, and nutrition — are all served to you in our comfortable dining spaces. Let’s explore our customizable dining plans and how you can embrace nutritious cuisines in your own diet!
Why Nutrition Matters in Senior Dining
Malnutrition can mean both overeating and undereating, as well as not eating the right foods. With more than half of seniors in nursing homes and hospitals across the country struggling with malnutrition, we make it our priority at St. Anthony’s to help our residents get the nutrition they need during each dining experience.
Malnutrition can have many negative physical and mental effects on older adults, such as:
- Bone and joint problems (increasing the risk of falls)
- Weak immune system and a higher chance of illness
- Accelerated vision loss due to glaucoma, cataracts, and muscular degeneration
- Increased cancer risk and inability to tolerate chemotherapy
- Kidney failure
- Speech, coordination, and memory impairment
- Loss of mobility
By maintaining a well-balanced diet with good nutrition, seniors are more likely to live longer, more independent life. Nutrition helps strengthen memory retention, improve bone density, maintain good vision, and keep your organs functioning properly. It also gives seniors plenty of energy to stay fit and have better mental wellness, combatting illnesses like depression.
How to Promote Nutrition in Independent Living
Seniors in assisted living and memory care at St. Anthony’s have consistent support with their nutritional needs through our fully included dining plans. Independent Living residents can take advantage of this too! However, independent living residents have full-size kitchens in their apartments and may prefer to cook their own meals. Here are a few ways to improve your nutrition and eating habits in independent living.
1. Talk with Your Healthcare Provider (or a Dietician)
The first step to intentional nutrition is talking with your healthcare provider. They can help you develop a nutritional diet plan that honors your food preferences and meets your specific goals and health needs, including considerations for allergies, restrictions, or health conditions.
If you want to take your nutritional health seriously, take this a step further and meet with a dietician! We have an on-site dietician at St. Anthony’s who works with our chefs to create well-balanced menu options, and they are happy to meet with residents if you have any questions about your diet!
2. Snack Wisely
Even if you enjoy most of your meals at St. Elizabeth’s Bistro with your friends, we don’t expect your kitchen to go completely unused! Stock it with healthy snacks and meals to fuel your body, like fruit and whole grains, instead of junk food and less-than-ideal temptations like chips and candy.
3. Make it Nutritious AND Delicious!
If you love it, you’re more likely going to eat it. Make yourself meals that you enjoy that are also good for you. Look for delicious foods that are high in protein and other essential vitamins and nutrients. If you struggle to get all the nutrition you need from your meals, you can incorporate oral supplements, but it’s important to talk with your doctor before doing so.
4. Take Advantage of On-Site Dining
Looking for dietician-approved meals without having to be the chef yourself? Our chef creates unique menus of five-star quality meals every week so you’ll never grow bored and always have delicious meals to keep you nourished. Just take a look at our sample menu for examples! Our chef brings amazing dishes from fresh salads to mouthwatering pasta to protein-packed goodness every day so you can find something you like and stay healthy without sacrificing flavorful meal options.
The St. Anthony’s Dining Experience
At St. Elizabeth’s Bistro, the menu changes every day, with five freshly made featured dishes available for lunch and dinner, generally across five meal categories:
- Mexican-inspired cuisine (tacos, burritos, etc.)
- Sandwiches (meatball sub, patty melt, etc.)
- Salad (shrimp caesar, chicken cobb, etc.)
- Pasta (chicken tortellini, pasta primavera, puttanesca, etc.)
- Protein (pork chops, beef brisket, shepherd’s pie, etc.)
Of course, if none of the menu options for the day appeal to you, we also have St. Anthony’s signature dishes available every day. This includes chili, a salad bar, and the resident-favorite Best Bacon Cheeseburger! Residents can meet up with friends for a delicious community experience or order takeout at no extra charge to dine at home. We also offer room delivery for a small fee if you’re not feeling up to the trip on any given day.
With continental breakfast beginning at 7 am every day, and a special brunch after Mass on Sundays, you really could leave your kitchen untouched and still get all the fuel (and pleasure) you need through dining at St. Anthony’s. We want dining to be as easily accessible as possible for our independent living residents, designed in a way that they can truly live the lifestyle they want.
And when it comes to eating for pleasure, we don’t skimp on desserts either! As much as we encourage and prioritize nutrition, a delicious slice of pie or scoop of ice cream is sometimes exactly the soul food you need. The Bistro features vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and coffee-flavored ice cream available every day, plus orange sorbet for the less dairy-inclined. We also have other fresh-made desserts each day, so you know where to go to satisfy your sweet tooth!
If you love the idea of a fully inclusive dining experience right at your fingertips, you’ll love independent living at St. Anthony’s! Give us a call to schedule your tour.