The balancing act of foodservices (menu & meal planning)

The balancing act of foodservices (menu & meal planning)

The balancing act of foodservices (menu & meal planning)


Meal and menu planning are vital in foodservices. The foodservice staff can make a difference to the quality and presentation of meals. Even within limited budgets meal presentation can make all the difference.

Don’t over think menu planning, it is often the simple meals which are the most enjoyed. The most important aspect of foodservices it to ensure that meals and fluid are consumed.

Quality foodservices includes:

• Food presentation on the plate, colour combination of foods and the use of sauces and garnishes are essential
• Ensuring that the meal is tasty for aged care residents by using salt, sugar and fat.
• For residents that require a texture modified meal to look firstly at colour combination of foods, then look at the consistency of food and then how they are presented. The use of careful presentation, moulds or layering of foods to create visual appeal.
• Meal size (portion control) is considered
• How the staff serve the meal is very important. It’s the attitude of staff and how helpful they are at meal services which plays an important role. This include both the foodservice and care staff. Meals services are a resident’s time in which they can socialise and feel part of the home.

Planning menus

• Well balanced
• Wide variety of foods
• Designed with your clientele in mine

To provide quality choice

• Personalise the menu which is difficult to meet the needs of the individual while catering for a large group so having some choice and a variety of foods can be used.
• Try different service styles at meal times for example offer a finger food platter, or a platter with cut fruits and some cheese or a platter of mixed sandwiches offering a choice for the types of sandwiches they would like to have.
• Choice is essential regardless of the foodservice system which is operated as choice appears to increase food intake

Being organised is essential for foodservices. A small touch can make a difference to the presentation of a meal. It’s also important to understand the working of food service system. For menu planning and meal ideas check out our Facebook page or YouTube channel for videos from CR kitchen. CR kitchen has been showcasing our supply partners

Dr Karen Abbey
Aged care foodservices specialist dietitian
Director of Nutrition & Catering Consultancy
Founder Nutrition & Catering Global Hub
Founder Nutrition & Catering Institute

If you would like to learn more about how CR can help you with your Foodservice procurement contact Church Resources at or call 1300 248 724. 

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