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April 23, 2020 2:56 PM

Competition highlights nutrition for older adults

On March 7, Conestoga’s School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts hosted the Nutrition in Disguise cooking competition in partnership with the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research & Innovation in Long-term (CLRI) at the Research Institute for Aging where students competed to create nutritionally rich recipes for use in long-term care homes. 

The Nutrition in Disguise project focuses on creating nutrient-dense meals by adding healthy ingredients like lentils, wheat germ and tofu to common foods that older adults enjoy. 

“I’m hoping that you can see the value of cooking for the older adult generation,” said Heather Keller, research chair in Nutrition and Aging, Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging, as she thanked students for their participation in the competition. “You’re all winners.”

Keller was joined on the judging panel by chef George Madalena of Schlegel Villages, Lisa Duizer from the University of Guelph’s Food Science department, and residents from Schlegel Villages.

Hannah Nguyen won the savoury category for her tofu sandwich that incorporated avocado, spinach and glazed tofu, while a black bean brownie with a silken tofu chocolate mousse created by Ishika Goyal won the sweet category.

The students, both enrolled in their final term of the Culinary Management diploma program, each received a $500 prize.

Nguyen and Goyal said they had never developed recipes specifically for older adults before, but both appreciated the challenge of working with specific nutrient-rich ingredients. They also agreed the win has boosted their confidence.

The recipes developed for the competition will all be added to a library of budget-friendly recipes that can be used by long-term care homes for meal planning.

Conestoga’s School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts is a leader in culinary and hospitality programming that prepares students for successful careers in Canada’s dynamic tourism industry. Students have access to state-of-the-art culinary skills labs and a full-service student-run campus restaurant.

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