Food Journal

I live in an assisted living “Campus of Care,” in one of the three buildings comprising this center.

Food preparation for our building, plus others, and meals on wheels, is contracted out to a different company, but it is produced in “our” kitchen located in the building next door to ours. Food is brought in here in a steam table.

I eat at the first of two sittings for lunch and supper.  We have our biggest meal at noon, and supper in the evening. At noon, they go around and ask if we would like a second helping, but in the evening, they don’t. Twice I had asked for more in the evening, and was refused because “they had to keep enough food for second sitting.”

So I wrote a memo to the lady in charge of food, with a copy to my manager. The following week, I took pictures of the meals to the manager, to prove some of my complaints. He had the CEO, whose office is in the adjoining building, come over to meet with me.

For the past three months I have been writing a Food Journal, complete with pictures of every meal! That’s a lot of pictures. Every Monday I turn in my weeks report to my manager. After reading it, he sends it on to the CEO.

With my reports, and the photos to back them up, they are able to make changes for the better. Meals have improved. Almost every week I’ve been told, “You can’t quit now.”

Some of the tenants are afraid to speak up when they aren’t happy with the meal. I’m not!  So, I am their advocate!

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15 thoughts on “Food Journal

  1. That photo shows a very well balanced and plentiful meal. Not crazy about the mashed broccoli (looks like that to me). But its a healthy part just the same.

  2. Good morning,, Jean! Yes, our meals are mostly pretty good, and better since the food journal was started… and healthy as they follow the Canada food guidelines.

    Thanks for coming by!

  3. I love this story. Nutrition and the social aspects of dining together are so important. You’ve been working on such a vital project. And (heheh) I adore photos of foodies. 🙂 Cheers, Norma!

  4. If people feel there is any risk of repercussions they often hesitate to speak out, but keeping silent doesn’t change an intolerable situation. The folks there are fortunate that you aren’t so easily intimidated. Good for you!

    I can’t imagine it’s easy preparing meals that will appeal to a quantity of people day in and day out, but wouldn’t some of the residents find choices like corned beef, cabbage, broccoli, etc., rather difficult to digest? Then again, I recall you saying there’s usually a second choice on the menu, so maybe the alternate options would have been better.

  5. Good morning Heather! Thanks for coming to visit.. Pour a cup of tea and stay for a while.. homemade shortbread cookies over there… help yourself!

    Good morning, Carol. One of the things that bothers me is some of the vegetable combinations that they serve. Why would they serve Cabbage and broccoli at the same meal? Both are gas producing vegetables. But the meal was delicious! Thanks for your comment.. and pour a cup of tea for yourself and join Heather and I for a while!

  6. Hi there. Interesting reading this. Here in Sweden same sort of discussion goes on. It is very rare that they make food in their own kitchen. They even say that older people are starving to death. They doesn’t like the food and don’t eat it. I like your project very much. Keep it up!
    Greetings from Sweden

  7. Nilla, welcome to our discussion. Now I know that this is not just White Rock’s problem. With my photos and journalling, management has proof of the meals being served and are able to demand that they do better. There has been some improvements, but still room for more. I have seen plates going back with uneaten food, and have photographed that for the record as well.

    Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. I do appreciate hearing your opinion.

  8. Good for you Norma, speaking up and photographing up like that!
    And they’re very good food photos – perfectly exposed and focused with true natural colours. They look very realistic! Like Heather I really like food photos.
    The food looks pretty good, not too bad, but I would need butter or margerine and salt and pepper.
    I’m having a late breakfast with “the Noni blog” – thanks! Hey wouldn’t it be neat if we could include photos in our comments. A photo of my oatmeal porridge wouldn’t be very interesting though. 🙂
    Have a great day Norma! Hugs!

  9. Too bad, Greg! I would like to know if your oatmeal porridge looks any different from mine! I have raisins in mine!
    Great to have you visit… did you get a cup of tea? And a cookie?
    Most of our noon time dinners are pretty good, but not always hot, or the vegetables not cooked. It’s the supper meals that leave a lot to be wished for. Anyway, management says I can’t quite what I have been doing! And as long is ist helps to improve things, I will continue to do it.

  10. That is supposed to say I can’t QUIT now! As long AS IT helps to improve things.

    Sometime after Christmas, Carol will teach me how to run this thing myself, and then I can correct my typos. Until then… sorry.

  11. Carol,good for you being the advocate for better food and how wise of you having pictures of all the food being served especially portion size.I cannot believe you were not allowed seconds.I look forward to hearing how this all works out.

  12. Hi Dianne! Thanks for stopping by. Carol is posting for me until she can give me a lesson in how to do it myself…. but Noni Grace (me) is the one being an advocate re the food issue.

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