It’s all about the food not the fork! Finger food for the eating challenged »
107 easy to eat meals in a mouthful created by chef Peter Morgan-Jones
By Helen Ellis
It was with great interest that I received the book It’s all about the food not the fork! 107 easy to eat meals in a mouthful to review, because it deals with a few issues that have recently been a source of interest and relevance to me.
Like many fellow baby boomers, I have reached a stage of life where, much as we hate to acknowledge it, we find ourselves with eating problems. Many of us also have ageing parent/s with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and dysphagia (difficulty or discomfort in swallowing).
This book, written by Peter Morgan-Jones, Executive Chef and Aged Care Food Ambassador for HammondCare, provides some interesting, constructive and nutritious ideas for finger food and meals that have visual appeal and taste familiar to a mind that has lost its ability to identify something as basic as how to use a fork at mealtimes.
HammondCare is an independent aged care provider in three states of Australia, which works to fulfil their mission: "to nurture dignity, and improve the quality of life for older people and people with dementia, especially those least able to provide for themselves.”
The book, as well as containing 107 assorted recipes, also contains expert advice from Morgan-Jones’ fellow authors Lisa Greedy, Prudence Ellis and Danielle McIntosh on nutrition, mealtimes and eating.
Weight loss and malnutrition affect the majority of older people in the community, especially those living with dementia, so careful planning of ways to incorporate a good balance of protein, energy (calories) and nutrients is vital.
When faced with a full-sized meal, a person who is not hungry or has a small appetite (which most dementia sufferers do) may feel sick at the thought of having to eat what is on their plate. Every mouthful must be made to count, so it is vital that forethought regarding nutrition is utilised and that the food looks appetising as well.
I made the Cheese, Ham & Chive Croquettes and Bec’s Banana & Coconut Bread for my father who is in an aged-care facility with dementia. Both recipes required adaptation for his particular palate, so whilst he enjoyed the ‘picnic’ I took to him, he attacked the Anzac Biscuits I also made for him (which were not in the cookbook, and were much sweeter than the Banana & Coconut Bread), with much more zeal and enthusiasm.
The book includes nourishing breakfast recipes: Bacon and Egg Pie; Breakfast Tortilla; Breakfast Cookies, and more, then moves on to cover the rest of the day, for instance: Salmon and Mascarpone Pate; Wholemeal Raspberry Bars; Scotch Eggs; Pizza Margherita; Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie plus a good variety of smoothies and drinks to provide vital hydration and nutritious energy intake when eating is more difficult.
All recipes are reasonably straightforward and easy to prepare and cook, with nothing taking over an hour to cook.
The book wouldn't be used for general cooking and entertaining but then that’s not its purpose. These recipes are more designed to fulfil the function of imparting the maximum amount of healthy food contained within one mouthful to someone, rather than a genuine enjoyment of food and flavours that we usually associate with a meal or finger food.
However, It’s all about the food not the fork is an ideal handbook to have available should you be catering to aged relatives and friends, or anyone else with a requirement for high-protein snacks.
It’s all about the food not the fork! 107 easy to eat meals in a mouthful by Peter Morgan-Jones with Lisa Greedy, Prudence Ellis and Danielle McIntosh is published by HammondCare Media (Sydney, Australia 2016; sc, 232 pp) and retails in Australia for RRP $39.95. It can be purchased directly from HammondCare here »
HammondCare Media is the non-profit publishing arm of HammondCare, and is a leading publisher and distributor of health and aged-care books and resources covering dementia, aged care, palliative care and carers, as well as organizational leadership.
HammondCare Media draws on the experience of world-class researchers and clinicians, offering evidence-based, best-practice books. Their audience includes people at home through to clinicians and professionals.
Helen Ellis is food blogger, writer and enthusiastic cook and eater of all foods, except offal. She is retired following a lifetime of varied career paths which intertwined hospitality with the employment industry, lives in Hobart, dines out regularly and maintains contact with the outside world online daily. She also conducts Thai cooking classes in any spare time she finds herself with.
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