Seniors are getting fresh in the dining room

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When considering a move into a retirement residence, some people worry about the food.  Will it be bland, repetitive, pre-packaged?  Revera, a Canadian leader in retirement living, is cracking those myths like a fresh egg.

Home-style meets fine dining

It all starts with the menu.  Edwin Brunink, Revera’s National Director of Culinary Services, points to the importance of maintaining a balance of great food and great service.

Keeping nutrition top of mind, and taking time to carefully plan ahead to incorporate quality ingredients, is key.  “We feature the best ingredients, prepared fresh and served at the correct temperatures,” says Brunink.

But balance is about more than hitting the food groups.  Brunink is also passionate about taking a home-style approach to food, while adding professional flair.

“It’s not just about maximum nutrition,” says Brunink, “it’s also about great taste and presentation that make people smile.”

Whether residents are craving classic comfort food like Sheppard’s Pie, or something fancier like Beef Wellington, offering choices and incorporating some key culinary principals can help enhance the dining experience.

Tips to maximizing your dining experience

A Revera retirement community has the advantage of a culinary team and experienced chefs who’ve often worked at top restaurants and hotels.  To follow some of the advice that Brunink employs:

  • Choose more vegetables and fruits.  Eat a variety of veggies and fruits every day.  Pick salads with dark greens such as spinach or romaine lettuce.
  • Go with a grain.  Enjoy whole grains like whole wheat (for toast or sandwiches), oat bran, barley or bulgur.  Barley or brown rice, for instance, make great side dishes.
  • Think cooking techniques.  Select foods that taste great steamed, stir-fried, baked or broiled.  These techniques help add variety to your meals, and guide a healthy menu.
  • Spice it up: Bring out the flavour without using more salt.  Adding fresh herbs or herb pastes, spices in moderation, and other concentrated flavours (like citrus juice or mustard) can liven up any meal.  For instance, add a splash of herbed or flavoured vinegar to salads.  Or spread mustard or salsa on sandwiches – much healthier than added fats.
  • Take your time.  Eat slowly.  It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal the brain that it’s full. Putting your fork down between bites and taking your time to savour the flavours will help keep you on the right track.
  • Don’t go it alone.  Studies show that when you eat with others, you tend to improve your nutrient intake.  So making meal times a reason to gather with friends can be a benefit socially and physically.

Nourishing in every way

Residents at Revera say meal time is nourishing in every way – a menu of wholesome and nutritious meals, thoughtfully prepared by expert chefs, served in comfortable surroundings, and surrounded by friends.

As one resident writes, “It’s all about delicious food, wonderful conversations and first-class service.  Eating in can really feel like dining out.  Meals have turned out to be one of the best parts of the day.”

Besides a full-service dining room, many Revera communities feature a 24-hour snack bar and a coffee bistro.  Residents can also invite family and friends for a meal, host it in a private dining room, and leave the cooking to one of Revera’s world-class chefs.

“People sometimes assume that eating in Revera communities gets boring,” says Brunink.  “In fact, it’s the opposite.  When you cook for yourself, you can end up preparing the same foods over and over, and get into a rut that can be unhealthy.  Here at Revera, wholesome variety is always the order of the day.”


Visit to book a complimentary meal and tour at a Revera retirement community near you.