Unprecedented variety, the freshest natural and organic ingredients, and meals made to order. Those are among the signature touches that make the gourmet dining experience at Spring Hills Senior Communities stand out from other senior living communities.
At each of the eight Spring Hills communities throughout New Jersey, Florida, Ohio and Virginia, chef-inspired, nutritionally balanced meals are prepared by a professional culinary staff and served in a restaurant-style atmosphere that greets community residents as welcome guests.
Each meal presents residents with an expansive menu of international cuisine like that found in fine restaurants. The daily menu features 14 entrée choices that change weekly, a soup of the day, three or four appetizer choices, as many as five salad options, a selection of sandwiches, and everyday comforts like grilled cheese.
Instead of a traditional menu that might offer two special entrees that change each day, Spring Hills combines all the specials that would typically be offered over seven days and offers them all week long, explains corporate executive chef Mabel Prado. “Variety is the spice of life, and our residents have plenty of variety to choose from,” he explains.
Each week, the menu is tailored with delectable options to satisfy the specific needs and desires of the seniors living in the community. “We’re not cooking for ourselves; we’re cooking for the residents. And if it’s not on the menu, and I have the ingredients, I’ll make it,” says Norman Weiler, executive chef and director of dining services for the Cherry Hill Spring Hills Senior Community.
Chefs accommodate residents with different ethnic backgrounds who are accustomed to foods exclusive to their culture, as well as vegetarians and seniors with special dietary needs. Each selection is flavorful and served with panache by a team that takes as much pride in preparing a puree meal as they do in a traditional entrée.
“We try to make every meal a special experience,” Prado says.
From Farm to Table
Meals at Spring Hills Senior Communities are made-to-order from the freshest natural and organic ingredients, right down to the herbs and seasonal produce grown by residents in community gardens. Residents enjoy the beauty of watching fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and herbs grow in the community gardens and take part in the upkeep.
To supplement seasonal produce grown within the communities, chefs seek to purchase fresh organic fruits and vegetables whenever practical. Kitchens also prepare their own fresh stocks for soups and cooking.
Optimum Nutrition and Wholesome Ingredients
At Spring Hills Senior Community in Cherry Hill, NJ, its restaurant offers hours not seen at most other assisted living communities. The restaurant in the Cherry Hill community is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with non-stop service allowing residents to come and go as they please.
Open seating and day-long hours allow seniors to enjoy their meals on a schedule that suits their lifestyle and activities around the community. “Just like at home, you don’t rush back by 5:30 p.m. every evening because that’s when you need to be at the table to eat,” says Weiler. “It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen when it comes to assisted living.”
Because dining that truly satisfies and meets residents’ nutritional needs is paramount to encouraging seniors’ health and well-being, the restaurants in Spring Hills communities offer options for seniors with diabetes, as well as those on gluten-free or low sodium diets, all of which are clearly marked on the menu.
“When we write the menu, we make sure we have several heart-healthy and diabetic options, but we try to make it general enough that someone who doesn’t have diabetes or needs a heart-healthy diet has plenty to choose from,” Weiler says.
The culinary staff also takes a personal responsibility for each resident’s health and wellness by keeping profiles with photos and dietary requirements and restrictions for each resident in the kitchen to ensure that they’re receiving the appropriate nutrition.
To dine at Spring Hills Senior Communities is to enjoy wholesome foods that not only please the palette, but also nourish the body and soul. It’s one of the many signature touches that exemplify Spring Hills’ holistic approach to healthy living.
Spring Hills Cherry Hill is located at 1450 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill. For more information, visit Spring-Hills.com or call (856) 298-1407.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Fall Sports Preview, July, 2012.
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