Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Nutritious Meals and Satisfied Seniors: How Moral Home for the Aged Sick Revamped their Food Menu


Community Care organisations are constantly on the lookout to deliver quality care and service to Singapore seniors. In this month’s article, mosAIC explores how our partner enrolled in services to improve food and nutrition amongst their residents.

A recent study in Singapore found that four in five seniors are at risk of malnutrition and have low muscle mass, which, in turn, increases their risk of falls. This finding, coupled with a loss of appetite due to various factors including a decrease in saliva production and side effects from illnesses, illustrate why it’s important for seniors to consume nourishing foods.

Moreover, eating well has numerous benefits for seniors, such as a sharpened mind, heightened energy and resistance to sickness.

However, preparing nutritious and tasty food in bulk every day can be challenging for nursing homes. The Moral Home For the Aged Sick (MHAS), which serves over 120 residents, faced similar challenges in food management. To improve seniors’ food satisfaction levels, MHAS engaged in Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)’s Chef Partnership Programme (CPP) to revamp their food management processes.

Seeking Professional Input to Improve Food Management

The CPP started in 2018 to help Community Care organisations improve food satisfaction standards among their residents. Developed as part of AIC’s Culinary Training initiative, the programme engages professional chefs to turn kitchen nightmares into well-oiled operations. It addresses issues that Community Care organisations face in managing raw materials, menu design, preserving food quality and the entire kitchen workflow.

As of 2019, more than 70 Community Care organisations and 200 chefs have joined the programme to better serve the seniors.

Revamping the Food Menu

At the start of the programme, CPP chef consultants evaluated MHAS’s current menu and kitchen operations to recommend the best practices. MHAS cookhouse chefs were taught about nutrition, and how to plan a revamped menu.

The re-engineered menu consists of 32 dishes in four scrumptious menu sets. Each menu married various protein sources with different cooking styles to extract flavours that stimulate the senses.

The revamped menu boasted an array of new dishes, including iconic local flavours such as Oven Baked Fish with Chili Crab Sauce and hawker-inspired nurturing meals such as Prawn Noodles with Sliced Chicken.

Menu set 1

Menu set 2

1.Seaweed Egg Drop Soup

2.Gratin Vegetable

3.Bake Pumpkin

4.Black Pepper Chicken

5.Herbal Chicken

6.Steam Fish with Soy Sauce

7.Steam Fish with Thai Lime Sauce

8.Bake Fish with Curry Tomato Sauce

9.Honey Lime Chicken

1.White Radish Miso Soup

2.Tomato Egg Drop Soup

3.Vegetable Stew

4.Steam Chicken with Fermented Bean

5.Char Siu Chicken

6.Sesame Chicken

7.Oven Bake Fish Fillet

8.Steam Chicken Pot Rice

9.Fried Hor Fun with Gravy

Menu set 3

Menu set 4

1. Peanut Porridge

2.Spinach Soup

3.Steam Chye Sim

4.Steam Xiao Bai Chye

5.Crispy Fried Fish

6.Chicken Stew 

7.Steam Egg with Minced Chicken and Salted Egg

1.Yam Porridge 

2.Steam Bitter Gourd with Egg 

3.Pineapple Fried Rice with Diced Chicken

4.Prawn Noodle with Sliced Chicken

5.Braised Soy Chicken

6.Sweet and Sour Chicken

7.Oven Baked Fish with Chilli Crab Sauce


Maximising Kitchen Efficiency

A CPP chef consultant also trained the MHAS cookhouse chefs on how to make kitchen processes more efficient, from prepping to cooking. As food preparation tends to take up the bulk of time, chefs learnt how to prepare dish elements ahead of time, and ways to best cook multiple dishes to save time. As a result, dishes such as Baked Fish with Curry Tomato Sauce and Gratin Vegetables can be cooked efficiently as one-pot dishes.  

Replicating Nutritious and Delicious Meals for Seniors

With the menu in place, the next challenge is to ensure consistency in food quality. The cookhouse chefs were taught techniques to ensure that dishes are properly cooked, and that recipes are followed to a T. On top of that, CPP chef consultants introduced new kitchen equipment that made cooking more efficient.

A CPP chef consultant giving tips to an MHAS cookhouse chef on food preparation.

Mouth-Watering Dishes a Hit With the Seniors

With CPP’s assistance, MHAS managed to provide consistently flavoursome and healthy food for seniors.

CPP’s re-engineered menu saw overall meal satisfaction levels increase from 25% to a whopping 75%! Seniors awarded thumbs-up ratings to the plethora of dishes in their new menu and left highly positive feedback for the chefs!

The nutritious and tasty dishes are now a highlight for seniors every day. Their smiles at mealtime have, in turn, motivated cookhouse chefs and caretakers to excel in their jobs!

If your organisation wish to embark on this CPP project, please contact si.jiang.liu@aic.sg / quality@aic.sg for more details. This CPP project was also partly funded by the Healthcare Productivity Fund. You can also click here to find out how to apply.

About Moral Home for the Aged Sick

Moral Home for the Aged Sick was established as a community service in 1986 by Chee Hoon Kog Moral Promotion Society to care for the aged sick. Equipped with modern facilities and serving 120 full-time residences, it provides services from nursing care, physiotherapy, counselling and more to provide love and warmth to its residents.

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