Making Christmas extra special for Aged Care residents

Christmas is a time that we look forward to enjoying delicious food with family and friends and why should this be any different for our residents? Make the holiday season extra special and stimulate your resident’s appetites with some of these ideas:

  • Ensure that there is enough food for residents to have an extra helping if they wish. After all, Christmas is a time for indulging.
  • Serve a special festive breakfast with protein rich foods such as bacon, eggs, sausages, baked beans or French toast.
  • If appropriate, serve a glass of the resident’s favourite alcoholic beverage before Christmas lunch to add to the special occasion feel of the day.
  • Offer different types of sauces or gravies to pair with meat and vegetables. Perhaps even put them on the table to allow the residents to add more if they please.

Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without the traditional roast turkey or baked ham. These are great sources of protein which is vital for growth and repair in the elderly. Also serve desserts such as trifle or Christmas pudding with custard or ice cream which are both great sources of protein and calcium.

Don’t forget residents on a texture modified diet:

Not being able to enjoy the same foods as everyone else can leave residents feeling isolated. Particularly during the Festive Season which is a time associated with sharing meals with loved ones.

However many of the foods traditionally served at Christmas time can be made suitable for residents who require a texture modified diet due to chewing or swallowing difficulties.

Ensure residents receive a variety of festive favourites this year with the following tips:

  • For residents on a soft diet, serve Roast Turkey and Baked ham will be suitable if diced into pieces no bigger than 1.5cm x 1.5 cm and served with extra gravy. Both the turkey and ham can also be blended to minced moist and smooth pureed consistencies by adding a little gravy.
  • If everyone else is eating delicious cauliflower cheese, honey roasted carrots and buttery Brussel sprouts, make sure your residents on texture modified diets are too.
  • Don’t forget the cranberry jelly and apple sauce!
  • Residents on smooth pureed diets should avoid stuffing, however if moist and served with ample amounts of gravy it may be suitable for residents on a minced moist and soft diets are as long as it can be easily mashed with a fork and there are no hard lumps.
  • Pavlova is an Aussie Christmas classic and a great option for residents on texture modified diets, including smooth puree. If the base on the pavlova has hardened, soak with a little cream before serving.
  • Other great dessert options include pureed plum pudding with custard or cream.
  • Ensure residents are offered a range of texture modified mid meal snacks such as cake or scones soaked or pureed with a custard or cream. For an exciting morning or afternoon tea treat, why not try spiced pumpkin mousse (recipe below) for something different?

Spiced Pumpkin Mousse

Ingredients (makes 24 serves):

  • 3 x 425g can pumpkin puree
  • 3 cup plus 6 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 2 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 90g white chocolate, shaved


  • In a saucepan, stir together the pumpkin, 3 cups heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Chill for at least 1 hour before preparing the mousse.
  • Whip the remaining 6 cups chilled cream into peaks. Gently stir ½ cup of the chilled pumpkin mixture into the whipped cream.
  • Once the ½ cup of pumpkin is almost fully incorporated into the cream, fold in the remaining pumpkin.
  • Serve chilled with white chocolate shavings as a garnish (as appropriate)


pumpkin mousse