A challenge worth meeting—and eating

In our circle of friends, my husband and I are thought of as “foodies.” Although my husband cooks a mean breakfast and we both have a few other specialties up our sleeves, the reputation was earned due to our shared affection for dining out. Our friends come to us for our thoughts on area restaurants, because chances are high that we’ve visited their intended destinations.

That’s why I was excited to read about some of the entrées cooked up by the chefs at Sunrise Senior Living communities for the company’s first SeniorEats Nutritional Challenge, for which more than 80 chefs submitted recipes and an ultimate winner was chosen from five finalists. Arugula Quinoa Salmon Salad? Fettuccine with Walnut Cream Sauce? Halibut with Apple Slaw? Those dishes feature some of my favorite seafood, and anything with pasta definitely calls to me.

But I’m even happier for the residents of Sunrise’s 291 independent living, assisted living, nursing and rehabilitation communities. Not only were some of them asked to judge the competition, but Sunrise Senior Living tells me that residents will be able to select from winning contest entries as future meal options.

Mealtimes can be some of the highlights of my day, and they can assume even more significance for seniors as they age and their lives change. Breakfast, lunch and dinner provide opportunities to socialize with fellow residents as well as caregivers. And because nutrition and health are linked, meals are crucial to maintaining or improving senior vitality.

So kudos to Sunrise for promoting creative, healthful—and, from the sound of it, delicious—dining among its staff members and residents. And congratulations to Bob Brown of Sunrise of Norwood, a Massachusetts community, for being named the 2013 Sunrise Signature Chef for his recipe for Cod in Tarragon Tomato Broth, a dish that includes a local, low-calorie protein and tomatoes, which contain high levels of the antioxidant lycopene (the entrée, according to Sunrise, also features reduced levels of fat and sodium). To see Brown’s recipe, click on the link in the previous sentence. Other finalists’ recipes are available by searching the Sunrise SeniorEats blog.

Please let me know—what unique things are your senior living communities doing to promote senior health?

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Topics: Executive Leadership , Facility management , Nutrition