February 10, 2024

Wholesome Dining Delights: The Plaza at Wildwood Experience

Category: Culinary

Author: Kevin Smith, Culinary Director

When it comes to senior living, there are a few factors to consider always. One of the main considerations should be food and the overall dining experience. With that comes the delicate balance of culinary creativity and nutritional precision, the nuanced dance that unfolds within our dining rooms. At The Plaza at Wildwood Senior Living, we dedicate ourselves to ensuring the vitality, happiness, and longevity of those we serve. Join us where the aroma of carefully prepared dishes mingles with the laughter of shared stories as we explore the significance of nutrition while unveiling some of the secrets behind our thoughtfully curated menus. 

I always exercise caution with the amount of salt I use in my dishes. I’ve discovered that flavor can be enhanced by using fresh herbs and acids such as lemon juice and vinegar instead of relying on salt. I also recommend different cooking techniques for additional flavor, such as smoking or grilling. I always keep in mind when cooking for my residents to go easy on salt and avoid heavy spices in soups and entrees. Also, I make the portions easy for residents to consume by dicing things smaller and avoiding long noodles, which can be challenging to eat.

Health-Conscious Suggestion

If a health-conscious resident were to ask me for an entrée suggestion, I would recommend grilled salmon with a balsamic-honey mustard glaze, served with curried couscous and grilled vegetables. This is a very flavorful dish that is low in fat and sodium.

Some items on my menu that focus on nutrition include salads featuring lean proteins, grilled vegetables, and fruit-based desserts. For residents needing to gain weight, I suggest a lot of fruit smoothies, protein and banana shakes, and peanut butter.

As I’ve gotten older, my nutrition has become more significant in my decision-making process when dining out. However, it usually comes down to what I am hungry for at the time. Quality and flavor are still my primary deciding factors. My guilty pleasure meals are pizza and cheeseburgers. Healthy snacking is essential. A healthy snack option is celery sticks and hummus. It’s not high in calories, has some protein, and is delicious.

What we’ve uncovered is more than a celebration of diverse flavors and textures. It’s a testament to the commitment to prioritize the nutritional well-being of our residents. The kitchen remains the heart of our senior living experiences, and we hope the flavors shared resonate and linger in your thoughts. The creative spark in our kitchen isn’t just about pushing culinary boundaries. It’s about crafting delicious meals and a source of nourishment for our residents. I hope this inspires continued conversations about the importance of nutrition, creativity in culinary arts, and the everlasting impact they have on the lives of our older adults. 

The Plaza at Wildwood in Wildwood, MO offers independent living plus, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. We are centrally located near Mercy Hospital with convenient access to attractions, including Pevely Farms Golf Club, B&B Theatres Wildwood 10, Wildwood Community Park, YMCA Wildwood, and the Hidden Valley Ski Resort.

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