Food Quality for Those
in Institutional Care

Food quality matters to everyone, young or old, healthy or sick. Often, when we discuss the importance of healthy eating, we forget all those members of our society who are away from home, who do not have the benefit of home-cooked food and have no control over what they eat.

It concerns me greatly, that the weakest members of our society, those in some form of institutional care, are often not properly fed. Hospital patients, nursing-home residents, sometimes children in creches, schools and children’s homes, are fed food of a quality that is disgraceful, when these are the very people who most need good nutrition.

Food quality should be a priority in these institutions, but more often it is an afterthought, or is determined on purely financial grounds. Quality is disregarded and catering contracts are farmed out to sub-contractors, who provide a bottom-line service, are not part of the ethos of the institution and whose only concern is profit.

Sick people in hospitals today, not only have to recover from serious illness and surgery, but they also have to fight off infections like MRSA and they need all their strength to do so. Yet hospitals provide some of the worst food I have ever come across.

Many homes for the elderly are similarly negligent, despite the fact that elderly people are more prone to picking up contagious infections and need to be consistently well-nourished to stay healthy and have some quality of life in their last years.

Children's daycare centres and creches often do their own in-house catering, but even they may not necessarily be providing the type of food that is best for your child.

If you are choosing a nursing home, daycare, or other institution for a member of your family, you should personally check out what food will be on offer and make this an important factor when making your assessment of suitability.

Surely it is not too much to ask of our rich society that the sick, the old and the young, are properly fed? Surely it is our duty to make sure they are, whether they are in private, or public institutions?

When seeking institutional care for our loved ones, we should never be shy about asking questions about the quality of the food they will be given. We should make this matter one of our deciding factors in choosing the best place for them to stay. And, if someone we care about, is in an institution and the food is not up to scratch, we should complain on their behalf.

And when we are gathered together at the family table, eating home-cooked, good-quality, food, let us not forget our absent loved ones who are in institutions.

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Remember, healthy eating is enjoyable!

Blessings on your table!

The Good Food Angel.


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