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Food and Nutrition

Food and drink are an important part in all our lives, and a particularly enjoyable experience at Barchester care homes. Our teams of experienced chefs ensure every meal is not only delicious but reflects each individual’s likes, dislikes and dietary needs.

Our in-depth 'Nutrition for older people' guide provides details on how to maintain a balanced diet. You’ll find information about malnutrition, which foods contain essential nutrients, and how to prepare finger foods, along with some recipe ideas to get you started. 

Example Menus

To get a flavour of the menus we serve daily across all of our homes across the UK please see the examples below.

Breakfast menu

Daily menu

'Something Different' (Alternative menu)

Fresh and tasty

Whether it’s a wholesome shepherd’s pie or a more exotic gourmet delight, our policy is to make sure every meal is nutritionally balanced and made from the best and freshest local ingredients. All our menus offer choices of main meals, and we will supplement these with alternatives for people who want something different. Alongside home-made meals, a range of snacks is also baked fresh each day for the people living in our homes to enjoy. Wine is available with meals and tea, coffee, juices and other soft drinks are always available throughout all our homes.

Barchester Chef Academy

To ensure the people we support are consistently served the best meals, we have developed the Barchester Chef Academy, which offers continuing training and development to our kitchen staff. Our training programmes run from apprenticeships to skill workshops and help our staff cook to the highest standards. Our training also encourages our chefs to spend time talking to care staff and the individuals we support about what they like and dislike, ensuring only meals that are appetising to the individual are served in our homes. As a result of this involvement many of our chefs are very much part of the life of our homes.

Dietary requirements

For residents that have difficulties in swallowing we modify the menu of the day so that is it a soft, palatable dish.  To support our chefs in producing these dishes, our hospitality and Chef Academy organises theory and practical workshops.  Working in partnership with Nutricia, our practical workshops involve all chefs and deputy managers learning about dysphagia and producing these modified menus. The chefs work with the chef trainer to prepare fork mashable and thick puree meals to the correct consistency, taste and presentation.  The deputy managers can then ensure all modified menus served are presented correctly for our residents. 

Attracting top chefs

Our chefs are recruited on the basis of an interview with the regional hospitality support team and the manager for the home. Selection also involves a practical element where potential cooks are asked to cook for and meet a panel of people living in the home. Chefs take their job extremely seriously and our annual Chef competition sees our chefs battle it out in regional heats and then at a national final for the accolade of ‘Barchester’s Chef of the Year'.

What can we do to help?

We’re here to help in any way we can – whether that’s finding you the right support or helping you choose the best care home environment. Use our online tool for more information on our services or for contact details to our individual care homes where you can arrange a visit direct. Alternatively, you can complete our contact form and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible