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Spotlight Week – What is Cutlery-free Dining?

For ‘Spotlight Week’ day 2, we delve into what exactly Cutlery Free Dining is and how Avery chefs are equipped and trained to provide residents with the very best nutritional support.

Why Cutlery-free?

There are many reasons why a person may have difficulty using cutlery to eat a meal or a snack. Conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, or a stroke can affect how an individual can utilise cutlery. As innovators within the care sector, it is of fundamental importance to Avery that this continues to develop throughout the culinary teams.

Typically, residents in care homes with difficulty using conventional cutlery have either required help to eat from others or have been served ‘finger-foods’ at mealtimes, often consisting of sandwiches, sausage rolls and similar buffet-style dishes. Although acceptable and appropriate for a party or similar occasion, reliance on these types of foods for main dietary intake increases the risk of undernourishment for an individual due to the typically lower nutritional content.

It also increases the stigmatisation risk by highlighting a person’s disability when one resident is served different food to others at the same table. Avery’s cutlery-free approach to cuisine includes a series of mandatory bespoke workshops for culinary staff working in our care homes as well as a comprehensive package of resources. For Avery chefs, the guide offers a selection of the recipes, hints, and guidance to ensure that individuals requiring cutlery-free cuisine can enjoy the same nutritious and delicious foods as their fellow residents, without feeling discriminated.

Click the video below to hear what exactly comprises a cutlery-free dining guide and how best to support residents who need it…

Please note: This initiative is not a replacement to current daily seasonal menus but a possible alternative with the same nutritional value should a resident struggle at mealtimes.