Photo: Maggie Beer, Eliza Thomas, Peter Morgan-Jones, Morgan Pankhurst and the twenty amazing cooks and chefs who participated in the program.
Flinders University was once again thrilled to support the Maggie Beer Foundation in delivering their “Creating an Appetite for Life” Education program, a two day workshop held at TAFE Queensland, Brisbane. Attendees included twenty cooks/chefs from aged care centres around Australia and ten guest speakers from a wide variety of specialisations within the aged care sector. Flinders University graduate dietitian and PhD candidate Morgan Pankhurst attended to support proceedings, collect data from participants and conduct a program evaluation. The purpose of the workshop is to promote the MBF mission to enhance the food experience of older Australians living in residential care.
Maggie Beer demonstrated how she creates delicious home-style meals made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Peter Morgan-Jones, author and executive chef for HammondCare, demonstrated tips and tricks for texture modifying food. The diced fruit salad and yoghurt cubes made with agar-agar were a huge success! Participants also competed in two hands-on cooking challenges to create dishes that were familiar, delicious and high in protein.
Guest lecturers from supporting fields included Dr Cherie Hugo from the Lantern Foundation, Sandra Gilbert who discussed dementia and living, and James Shepherd on food safety concerns among vulnerable populations. The intent was to demonstrate that the dining experience for older adults is not just about the food on the plate but can be enhanced through a host of changes that support elder dignity and wellbeing.
Throughout the event, participants highlighted the importance of engaging with all stakeholders who are involved in food service as everyone has a role to play in quality improvement. After two days of back-to-back sessions, fabulous food and fun activities everyone left invigorated and motivated to become champions for change.