I appreciate your concern and I will take it into consideration, calling the dietician is a great idea.
There is essentially a "menu book" that shows exactly what the residents should eat, how they should eat it, and it's very repetitive. EDIT: (I realized how ignorant this post sounds, but for years many of the cooks before me have ordered their own food, cooked their own food, and management has been 100% ok with it as long as it meets the criteria. So if I have creative control, I would like to use it)
Other cooks are terrible, I'm talking frozen lasagna for everyone. I'm just trying to do this the right way, in a way that also gives me some creative control.
Of course their conditions are taken into consideration by me, for example... If I'm making something simple like brown rice, brocc and carrots, and chicken, I would have to seperate
one of the residents food in order to not provide spices such as paprika or black pepper due to GERD. So chicken breasts baked with just some salt, dry/fresh herbs for example.
Regardless if I follow the menu or not, changes need to be made to accommodate the residents diet. We are already informed of their conditions, what they can and cannot eat, and we also do the ordering. I'm not looking to do anything fancy, just some ideas such as desserts, dinners or snacks that they could enjoy while also being safe to eat.
Ideas such as different kinds of yogurt, a lot of chicken/pork chops/salmon are eaten by the residents. Every ingredient that is ordered is usually low-fat, no sugar, brown/whole grain
Also please keep in mind that this organization is state funded, but it is a family organization and requires audits by the state to make sure everything is order. In other words, this organization is left to be funded by tax payers while state watches once a year. The residents are typically low functional but none of them have a problem eating their consistencies (ground, puree) Some of them are capable of eating food whole and cutting their own food. Worst thing that has happened to staff is having to apply the Heimlich, but I've never had that problem during a shift because all of my food is cut down to 1x1" pieces and usually lubricated with olive oil. Other than that, one particular resident may complain of stomach aches and another lethargic resident may actually not be able to digest the food, (which can result in death) resulting in enemas if not treated properly. However, this resident has an extensive past of a redundant colon as well as avoiding death multiple times... Not to say I'm being careless, their lives are also very important to me. My intentions are pure and my craft is significant in this situation so I'm looking to get some tunnel vision here.
Some of the things they eat often to give you a better glimpse:
Breakfast at 7am: (I don't cook breakfast, only lunch, snack and dinner)
Things like fritattas, cream of wheat, oatmeal, usually heavy in carbs
But mainly eggs I would say.
Lunch at 1pm: Lunch is usually a turkey/ham sandwich with cheese and mayo/mustard, left over dinner, egg/chicken salad, water bottle, maybe a snack they bought at the store. Basically things packed into containers in a lunch box for them.
Snack at 3:30pm: Usually a lot of fruits, strawberries rasp blueberries, watermelon, honeydew, etc Yogurt, green salads
( I was thinking maybe smoothies would be a nice snack during the summer, or some fresh yogurt with fruits )
Diner at 5:30pm: Ground turkey/beef, chicken breasts, salmon, lasagna (white or red), beef chunks w/ a carb and veg. Usually served with a green salad before the meal.
I've seen a few cooks create mother sauces for them without a problem.