Nourishing News - December 2020

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Melanie Jones Manager of Nutrition Services Marianhill Senior Living

If the developments of the coronavirus pandemic have proven anything – it’s that times can be unpredictable. And when they’re unpredictable – having a proactive emergency response plan means so much when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of your senior living community. As many patients and residents in care look forward to mealtime as their favorite part of the day, it's so important to ensure your operations are always protected, so you can continue delivering the best possible experience, no matter the challenges you may be faced with.

Jessica McIvor Dietary Manager Extendicare Oshawa

That’s why to help keep your residents' spirits high, protect your team and communities, and take some stress off your own plate, you deserve to have the best technology at your disposal to keep your operations running smoothly meal after meal. Read on to discover the five key reasons why foodservice management software is an essential part of an allencompassing emergency response plan, complete with real-life insights from two foodservice leaders who have used their Sysco Synergy Tech Suite systems to navigate their operations amidst COVID-19.




It Helps you Get Ahead of the Curve

In unforeseen emergency situations, senior living communities simply can’t afford to solely rely on a reactive response. Having that contingency plan in your back pocket is key to safeguarding your community in any circumstance.

See for example Sysco Synergy Tech Suite partner Melanie, Manager of Nutrition Services of Marianhill Community. As the fearless leader of her foodservice team, Melanie knew the importance of planning (and acting) ahead as the coronavirus was beginning to spread across the country. That’s why, when she saw that her Synergy system was offering a complimentary Advanced Ordering enhancement to help them shift to safer operations, she was able to act quickly, working with her team and available technology to serve her patients and residents from the safety of their rooms. “Once we decided to move on and do full tray service for the entire building, we did move forward pretty quickly using the Advanced Ordering portion... if we didn’t have that technology available already, I don’t think we would’ve been able to move as quickly as we had”, Melanie explained.


It Supports You When You’re Low on Staff

With a shortage on staff being a common issue in senior living already, sometimes this problem is only amplified in the case of an outbreak. Have you thought about what your kitchen would do in the case of limited staffing due to an emergency? With technologies like Sysco Synergy Tech Suite, you can be equipped with natural disaster or low labor emergency menus expertly designed by in-house dietitians to help you continue to feed your community, despite a power outage or limited staffing.




Physical Distancing Made Easier

When you’ve got an entire community to feed, physical distancing is easier said than done – especially if you’re accustomed to running a tableside service. But with foodservice management software, digital ordering options make it easy to shift to in-room dining, with the ability for residents to place their own orders, or for your staff to take orders via tablet ahead of time, at a safer distance.

Having foodservice technology as a readily available part of your emergency response helps to give your staff peace of mind, and ultimately, more time to focus on what matters. Before implementing the Advanced Ordering enhancement, Jessica talked to her team, explaining that Advanced Ordering was a resource they could use to feel more comfortable and confident at work amidst this state of emergency. “I said: do you think this is something we could do as a department to help keep the residents safe? And I think just knowing that there was a program out there that we could use and that it was ready to launch when we needed it – that alone just gave my staff a relief”, she recalled.

Prior to the pandemic developments, Jessica, Dietary Manager at Extendicare Oshawa was operating primarily table service, with a few permanent in-room diners. But with the physical distancing recommendations that came with the pandemic, Jessica knew they had to flip their typical operations upside down. In the face of major change, her team found relief in knowing that they could use their foodservice technology to take orders safely via tablet technology: “Because you’re able to just input the information on the iPad, you can still talk to the resident at a safe distance, input the information, and it goes directly to dietary so we’re able to give them the meals that they want... It’s something that some of the other homes are trying to implement as well because they’ve realized that it stops the transmission of contact”, explained Jessica.


It Can Relieve Your Staff’s Minds (and Schedules)



 A 14-Day Emergency Menu Toolkit – simplified for use when you’re low on staff or non-kitchen staff are helping with foodservice  Printable Joke Cards – ready to download, print & cut to serve a smile (literally!) at mealtime & lift spirits  Complimentary 'Dining at a Distance' Signage – a printable resource for communities to encourage resident social distancing in the dining room in a fun & friendly way


The Best Foodservice Software Will Support Your Evolving Needs

A great software provider genuinely wants to help support your evolving needs, so you can continue serving those smiles in a time when your patients and residents need it the most. That’s why at Sysco Synergy Tech Suite, we’ve created a range of foodservice resources, based on real challenges the industry is currently facing, free to download for anyone who can benefit. They include:

And Free for Sysco Synergy Tech Suite customers:  Advanced or Self Ordering Enhancements – for safer service amidst physical distancing recommendations The bottom line is this: emergencies happen, and it’s important to be prepared for all the “what-ifs”. If you want to take actionable steps toward safeguarding your community through foodservice software, we might just be the partners for you. Click through below to access these complimentary resources and connect with us so you can empower your emergency preparedness and serve more smiles in your community today.

Learn more HERE





Niagara Ina Grafton Gage Village Bringing Support to Your in Your Home Niagara Ina Grafton Gage Village is a not-for-profit, charitable organization which has provided services to seniors in the Niagara Region for over 60 years. They encompass two sites, St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Operating since 1959, the facilities at these two sites house over 500 seniors who live either in rental or rent-geared-to income apartments, life lease bungalows or apartments, bedsitter rooms, or long-term care homes. Jerry Boichuk, CNM is the Manager of Food and Laundry Services. He has been with Niagara Ina Grafton Gage Village for 28 years and manages all food service operations, including the Satellite Meal Service

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which provides frozen and hot home-cooked meals for delivery to clients’ homes. In 1991, Ina Grafton Gage Village partnered with Stamford Lane United Church in Niagara Falls to produce approximately 2,000 meals a year. In 1993 they partnered with Meals on Wheels, and over the next 20 years were able to provide services for the entire Niagara region. Over the next 10 years, they would expand to their current reach which includes the Niagara Peninsula as well as Glanbrook, Dundas, Ancaster and Hamilton. They have developed this Satellite Meal Service solely through word of mouth and without the use of any advertising. At the beginning of the year, they were producing 1,600-1,800 frozen meals and 500-550 hot meals per week. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Satellite Meal Program has significantly increased and they are now producing 3,000-3,500 frozen meals a week, along with 600-650 hot meals per week in the Niagara area. The frozen meals are ordered from a 5-week menu cycle and include staple items that have been tried and true over the years such as roast turkey, roast beef and Swedish meatballs, which is their biggest seller. These favourites have been on the menu for years and continue to be very popular.


Glen Shennan displaying some of the prepared meals.

Every week, a choice of 7 main entrees, 7 desserts and 7 soups are offered. The orders are received, produced fresh, and then flash frozen for the following week. The menu is reviewed twice a year and changes are made to ensure they are providing variety and new item selections for the community. Frozen deliveries are delivered to the Meals on Wheels offices Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday by volunteers. The hot meals are prepared on service lines, placed within insulated bags and delivered to the clients within 1 – 1.5 hours of being prepared. Warmers are placed in the insulated bags to ensure that the temperature does not fluctuate at all as volunteer drivers deliver the meals to the community. Hot meals are delivered daily Monday through Friday by Meals on Wheels volunteers. The main attraction for this service is that the home-made meals are available at an affordable price. The portions are larger than those typically served with Meals on Wheels and are prepared without any salt. Each meal comes with heating instructions and is oven ready for microwave, toaster oven

or regular oven. A meal includes a 5-6 oz. meat portion; potato, pasta, or rice; vegetable; soup (packaged and sold separately); and dessert (packaged separately.) The Satellite Meal Service program relies on a combination of staff within the facility for the production of meals and utilizes volunteers to pack orders and deliver them to the Meals on Wheels offices. They’ve had the same staff for years who understand the importance of providing this service to the community. A partnership with Meals on Wheels and their volunteers enables them to send the meals out to the community. They service mostly seniors and individuals who are physically challenged or have limited mobility; however, anyone is welcome to purchase meals.

For more information on the Satellite Meal Service, please visit:





If you missed our SVK Healthcare & Senior Living Edition where Campbell’s showcased plant-based, ethnic & comfort food recipes for Healthcare & Senior Living, you can view it below. Follow us on our pages below to view our past & upcoming shows. Sysco Canada Facebook Page Sysco Canada LinkedIn Page

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Christmas Day THEME MENU

APPETIZERS Apple & Sweet Potato Flatbread Creamy Christmas Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup

MAINS Apple Mustard Glazed Turkey Roast with Green Bean Almondine, Stuffing & Cranberry Sauce Merry Mushroom Braised Short Ribs with Brown Sugar Squash & Paprika Potatoes

DESSERTS Christmas Chocolate Cake Plum Pudding

BEVERAGES Sparkling Pear Spritzer Coffee & Tea Celebrate this holiday season with the Christmas Day Theme Menu! The Christmas Day menu, recipes, nutritionals and costing can be accessed on Synergy Tech Suite®. Theme menus can be scheduled into your current menu cycle: Menu > Master Menu > Select Holiday on drop down menu > Select menu and set a Start Date Contact your Sysco Sales Representative if you would like more information about the Sysco Theme Menus or Synergy Tech Suite. 11 NOURISHING NEWS


Drink Idea: Candy Cane Hot Chocolate

Tip: Serve drinks with a candy cane for an added touch

Snack Idea: Christmas Gingerbread Cookies

Tip: Portion cookies into paper snack bags. Add Christmas stickers to seal close

For the full Theme Menu Package, please contact your Sysco account representative DECEMBER 2020 12

Merry Mushroom Braised Shortribs Serving Size: 90 g Yield: 50 Ingredients: 4 5/8 kg 1 ½ tsp 1 tsp 30 ml 20 ml 235 ml 3 1/8 L 45 g 190 ml ½ tsp 190 ml 190 ml 50 ml 365 g

Preparation: beef, shortribs, raw salt pepper, ground olive oil garlic, fresh, minced celery, diced water beef base, dry onions, finely chopped pepper, ground margarine flour onions, finely chopped mushrooms, sliced


1. Separate ribs into 180 g portions and place in baking dish. In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, oil and garlic. Rub on meat. Cook uncovered in oven at 350F/176C until browned lightly, about 30 min. Pour off excess fat. 2. Cover ribs with celery, water, base, 1st portion of onion and pepper and continue to bake another 20-30 min. 3. Gravy: In a pot, melt margarine and blend with flour, making a roux. Cook until it becomes lightly brown in colour. Remove stock from cooked ribs. Slowly add stock liquid to roux, continually stirring. Simmer until thickened. 4. In a separate pan, saute 2nd portion of onions and mushrooms and add to sauce. 5. Pour sauce over ribs and bake uncovered at 350F/176C for 40-50 min. Uncover and bake an additional 20-30 min.

Apple Mustard Glazed Turkey Roast Serving Size: 90 g Yield: 50 Ingredients: 5 kg 25 ml 75 ml 75 ml 2½L 8 ml 5 ml 5 ml 5 ml

Preparation: turkey breast, boneless, skin on Dijon mustard soy sauce honey applesauce, unsweetened marjoram, ground rosemary, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried

1. Roast turkey in oven at 325F/165C for 3.5 hours. 2. Mix together spices, mustard, and soy sauce. Remove turkey from oven and evenly ladle sauce over turkey roast. 3. Cover and allow to roast for another 30 min.

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by Casidhe Gardiner, R D – Nutrition Services Consultant, Sysco Canada

he holiday season is fast approaching, which means so are the feasts and theme days. During the holidays, food brings us together, helps us share our traditions, and brings us back to holidays past. Regardless of the specialized diet your residents may have, it is important that everyone enjoys the meals that help celebrate whatever the occasion. Here are some ways to ensure that every diet can get the most out of this time of year.

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gluten restricted diet

Those that require gluten restricted diets need to avoid foods containing barley, rye, oats, wheat, and spelt (think B.R.O.W.S.). This can seem limiting when considering the treats and side dishes that are staples in the holiday menu – but there are ways to keep enjoying them. Today, the selection of gluten-free items is growing, including desserts, rolls, and breads. This time of year is great to try new products such as gluten-free cakes and treats.

Beyond adding gluten-free substitutions for staple items, many of the dishes youserve on your regular menu can be enjoyed by this population as well. Ensuring meat products are gluten-free, using gluten-free gravy, and keeping vegetable recipes simple are great ways to avoid doubling the work for your staff, avoiding cross contamination, and letting residents enjoy items together.

vegetarian diet

Often when we think about holiday meals, we think about turkey or ham. However, there are many ways to celebrate without focusing on meat for centre-of-plate. When deciding on an entrée for the vegetarian menu, try to envision how it will match with the other items. Try to pick something that will match well with the mashed potatoes and gravy that they will be enjoying. Ideas include vegetarian “meatloaf” or vegetarian “chick’n.” Additionally, opt for using vegetarian broth and gravy to add flavors where possible to minimize recipes. Check out more vegetarian recipe options in Synergy Tech Suite.

diabetic diet

For the most part, residents with diabetes can enjoy a holiday meal without modifying too many recipes. The biggest thing to watch is the portion size for this population. We all know holiday meals can be quite carb-heavy with clear contributors like stuffing, rolls, potatoes and desserts. Make sure to consider how many serving sizes of starch are on the plate. Desserts, breads and stuffing can be offered in half portions if appropriate. Additionally, be conscious of sneaky sources of added sugar such as cranberry sauce and candied vegetables. When creating theme menus in Synergy Tech Suite, check the nutrition analysis of the meal to ensure carbohydrate intake is in a safe range and check with a Registered Dietitian when possible.

modified textured diet One of the best parts of a holiday meal is looking at the table or plate and seeing an array of colours. This aspect of the meal is especially important for those on modified textures. Colour can be a useful tool to add variety and excitement. Avoid placing brown, white, and beige items beside each other. Break up the pale items with items such as green beans, peas, sweet potato, carrots, or beets. The holiday season can be a great time to work on presentation of a meal. Using molds, either pre-shaped or shaping yourself, can create contrasting shapes on the plate. If molds are not accessible, try new ways of piping. Even just using a mold or piping application on one or two items can add a level of finesse

that can go a long way with your residents. An extra step to elevate plate presentation is to make sure the rims are clean. One wipe of the outside of the plate lets the items look more clean and presentable. Whether you’re enjoying Christmas dinner, coming together for Hanukkah, or welcoming the Chinese New Year, there is a lot to celebrate in the upcoming season. Food can play a key role in these celebrations which can be intimidating for those planning. However, when it comes to balancing specialized diets, there is no need to stress. When keeping recipes simple and planning ahead, we can all enjoy the holiday season.

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COMPLIMENTARY PRINTABLE HOLIDAYTHEMED JOKE CARDS Our Synergy Tech Suite partner, MealSuite, has developed these holidaythemed joke cards as a way for you to spread joy and make the holidays extra special for your residents this season.


Click HERE to access these downloadable resources


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