Articles and Information from GA Foods

How to Heat & Plate Home-Delivered Meals

Posted by Bushra Hassan, MBA, RD LDN on Apr 20, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Help Your Members Have the Best Meal Experience

GA Foods home-delivered meals for seniors and those on Medicare provide your members with reliable and nutritious meals. These home-delivered frozen meal kits include up to seven days’ worth of nutrient-rich frozen meals that contain essential main proteins and side dishes, which come together for an easy-to-prepare delicious entrée. Simply heat in the microwave and eat, right?

As members spend more time alone, become more dependent on others, can’t physically cook anymore, or have fewer activities to keep them busy, they may be less motivated to eat.

Therefore, we like to encourage case managers to suggest to their members that they transfer their meals out of the tray and onto a plate after they’re heated. Here’s why:

Humans Eat with Their Eyes First

Apicius, a 1st Century Roman gourmand, purportedly coined the phrase “We eat with our eyes.” One of the scientific reasons behind this phenomenon is that primal humans used their eyes and ability to see colors to identify nourishing foods within nature against the backdrop of green forests. Humans also use vision to assess if something looks safe to eat.

Fast-forward to the 21st Century and we’re in a world of social media, advertisements, smartphone cameras, celebrity chefs, and cooking shows. Humans have now been conditioned to admire beautiful foods. We’ve gone beyond the primal aspect of survival to mental stimulation and even virtual hunger through how food is presented.

Sure, there are pros and cons to everything, but knowing the psychology behind this can be leveraged to encourage your members to eat their meals and get the valuable nutrition they need at their age or in their economic situation.

The Benefits of Plating Food

Now, we’re not saying plating frozen meals will transform eating them into a fine dining experience. But it can remind a member of the days before they needed a home-delivery meal benefit and service. Plating can inspire members to feel more independent, give them something to look forward to during mealtimes, and engage both their creative and critical thinking skills. These are essential in building and maintaining mental acuity and health during a time in life when brain activity decreases with age, social isolation, and inactivity.

Additionally, as we prepare foods and smell them, our brains begin sending signals that it’s almost time to eat. This triggers certain enzymes in our saliva, stomach and pancreas that help break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

How to Plate Food

GA Foods’ Executive Chef Jake Fatica has been a culinary master for over 20 years in high-volume catering, healthcare, higher education, and hospitality sectors. Watch the video above as he takes a member step-by-step on how to heat a GA Foods SunMeadow® meal and transfer it to a plate to enjoy a nutritious and appetizing meal. The transformation is amazing.

As Chef Jake explains, you want to have your members:

  • Inspect the frozen tray for any cracks or punctures
  • Place the frozen meal fully sealed in the microwave or in the oven (heating instructions are on top of the label)
  • Carefully remove the tray and feel if it is hot to the touch. If it’s just slightly warm, place it back into the microwave or oven for a little longer.
  • Use caution opening the seal by pulling away from the body
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables
  • Place the vegetables at the 10 o’clock position on the plate
  • Have fun with it and create visual appeal
  • Tight up the vegetables on the plate
  • Use a solid spoon to stir the main entrée sauces
  • Place the main entrée slightly over the top of the vegetables
  • Scoop out all the sauce from the tray and place it over the top of the entrée
  • Enjoy!

What Else is in the Home-Delivered Meal Kit?

While most meal benefit providers only include the main entrée, GA Foods goes beyond to provide fully balanced nutritional meals. Our frozen meal delivery also includes up to seven days of side items. From juices and fruit cups to a half-loaf of bread to snacks and condiments, each home-delivered meal is a complete nutrition profile designed by our Registered Dietitians. Watch the video above to see what your members get delivered each week.

Want to learn more about GA Foods' home-delivered meal solutions? Contact us today.


Topics: Home Delivered Meals, How to, Plating meals, home-delivered meals for seniors

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