Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jan-Feb 2012 Contents Nutrition
After the heavy foods of the cool months, it's time to embrace the
vitamin-rich fruits and vegies of Summer, writes Lisa Sossen.
Pineapple Jelly Cake
PINEAPPLE JELLY CAKE
1 packet Italian sponge fingers or vanilla sponge cake
2 packets pineapple jelly
1 can of pineapple (rings or pieces)
Place the sponge cake or sponge fingers in a dish. Make the
jelly as per directions, except use the juice from the pineapple
can with water added to make the cold water volume. Put the
pineapple pieces on top of the sponge cake or sponge fingers.
Gently pour over the jelly. Refrigerate until set.
To modify the texture, use pureed pineapple instead of
pieces, but ensure you use adequate jelly to soak right through
the cake. The dessert does not need to be pureed as it holds its
shape and has a smooth texture. Looks great!
Serving suggestion: add a dollop of whipped cream or ice-
cream. Garnish with fresh strawberries or blueberries and mint.
Variations: use strawberries or mixed frozen berries with
strawberry or raspberry jelly or mandarin segments with orange jelly.
Put away the crock pot -- it's time to whip out the salads!
Summer is here and it is a perfect time to make use
of all those wonderful summery fruits and vegetables.
Menus can be designed for a burst of colour on the
plate that should excite even those with the poorest
Seasonal menus are very important. It is not good enough
to use the same menu all year round, swap a few dishes and
add one or two new meals. For nursing homes and hostels
it is important to keep up the variety and avoid boredom. In
supported residential care (or SRS) settings, a specific summer
menu can be a great way to add more variety to meals and an
opportunity to inject a healthier twist into everyone's diet.
One limiting factor we see in summer menu planning is
the cost of fresh summer produce. Blueberries, cherries and
mangoes are delicious but tend to come with a hefty price tag.
Residents may go for months and years without eating a fresh
strawberry, blueberry, peach, mango or nectarine unless family
members bring these foods in.
If your supplier cannot provide these items at a reasonable
price, it might be worth heading to the market to pick up some
seasonal fruit and vegetable bargains to add to the menu and give
it that summer lift.
BOOST THE VITAMINS
Adding a burst of fresh fruit and vegetables to the diet is also
important in getting adequate sources of Vitamin C. After a long
winter with little fresh fruit and vegetables available, the immune
system could do with a boost of this important vitamin.
In a recent study in the American Journal of Geriatric
Psychiatry (2011), low plasma Vitamin C levels were associated
with depression and mortality -- a great incentive for menus to
offer foods high in Vitamin C all year round.
Among a host of essential fatty acids and micronutrients,
folate and vitamin B12 are important in the maintenance of
mental health, specifically reducing depression in the elderly
(British Journal of Community Nursing, 2009). Good sources
of folate can be found in spinach, beetroot, brussels sprouts,
broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, bananas, oranges and peaches.
Aged care menus also need softer, easy to eat foods. High-
care menus are the most difficult as texture modification can
limit many foods. However, for the low-care and SRS menus,
there is no reason why some variety cannot be introduced into
the diet with Summer-specific fruits to help lift the heaviness
of the previous season's menu. Try including a few blueberries
to the fruit salad for colour, or adding a few mangoes and
lychees to the chicken salad for a different flavour. Try citrus
dressings on salads.
BANISH WINTER BLUES
Summer menus also tend to be lighter in
nature, so out go the nourishing stews and
warm dairy puddings. Summer items tend
to be sandwiches, salads, quiches and fruit
salad. This is reasonable for the residents
who are mobile and fabulous eaters but
the difficulty with light-energy menus is
that residents with higher energy levels
may be at risk of weight loss.
For texture-modified diets, play
around with adding roasted capsicum,
eggplant and squash in foods. Try a cold
chicken and avocado mix on a hot day
instead of hot pureed chicken. The cost
of adding these items in occasionally
can be offset with less expensive items
on other days. Use cold rice or custard
puddings and incorporate berry flavours,
or add pineapple, lemon and orange
flavours to desserts.
Summer menus do not always specify
the fluids offered. Getting adequate fluids
is essential for the elderly during summer.
52 | JANUARY -- FEBRUARY 2012 | AAA
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