Yooralla’s Healthy Eating program seeing great outcomes for customers

DATE: 30 April 2021

Yooralla’s Healthy Eating program seeing great outcomes for customers

Yooralla will be celebrating 100 years of supporting people with disability in 2018 and we want to hear your stories and memories.

Yooralla’s Enhanced Healthy Eating program has continued to benefit residential customers across Victoria, with positive results and improved food education across many Yooralla sites.

The Enhanced Healthy Eating program was rolled out to all Yooralla residential sites in June 2020 and has been working to educate, empower and involve the residents to take control of their health, whilst enjoying delicious meals.

Co-design of weekly menus and feedback opportunities

Customers across Yooralla’s residential sites are involved in the planning of their weekly menus, online ordering and meal preparation and given the opportunity to share their feedback on every meal.

“When the program first started, we collected daily feedback from the customers on every meal,” said Jessica Coward, Residential Service Manager (Acting).

“Based on this feedback, we then adjusted the menu accordingly. Some menu items were removed and replaced with new menu items that we also asked for feedback on,” she said.

As the program has grown and developed over recent years, the meetings with customers to discuss the menu became monthly.

“We now have a folder with recipes from the Better Health Channel, The Heart Foundation and LiveLighter that customers choose their meals from.

“We also have daily conversations about what meals the customers would like to eat and then look for healthy alternatives. For example, cooking a Shepherd’s Pie, but we will use a recipe from The Heart Foundation,” said Jessica.

The program has also given customers the opportunity to broaden their horizons when it comes to the meals that they are eating, trying lots of new things.

“It has really been a great platform for the customers to discuss what they like eating and adding cultural dishes that customers may not have tried before,” said Jessica.

“The program gives customers the opportunity to see what ingredients go into certain meals and to add their own ideas about what extra veggies could go in,” said Jessica.

Getting involved in meal preparation

Customers have also enjoyed getting involved in the preparation and the cooking of their meals.

At a residential site in Lucknow, customers such as Gary (pictured below) have been picking their recipes and preparing meals with minimal support for the whole house to enjoy. ​​​​​​​

Gary also tends to the numerous fruit trees and vegetable gardens at his home, where he picks ingredients for his delicious meals.

Another customer, Anthony has learnt how to use the vegetable peeler by watching Yooralla staff. He takes great pride in peeling the veggies for dinner, now doing so with just a few verbal prompts to ensure he doesn’t peel the whole vegetable away. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Homemade pizza has also been a top ticket menu item, with Anthony and his co-resident Gwenda teaming up to learn how to make their own homemade pizza.

They use fresh ingredients to make a fresh and healthy alternative to one of their favourite takeaway meals.​​​​​​​

Gail McNally, Residential Service Manager said that the customers at Balfours Road have enjoyed being involved in the menu planning.

“It has created a hobby and interest in looking through recipe books and watching the cooking channels, which the residents find inspiring,” she said.

Enjoyment in moderation

The Enhanced Healthy Eating program has also shown residents that treats in moderation are an important part of healthy eating and making your own is a great way to cut out unnecessary fats, sugars and preservatives.

Rhonda (below) loves baking jam drop biscuits.

​​​​​​​Samantha and Gwenda have also perfected their very own healthier custard dessert to make and enjoy together.

​​​​​​​Positive results across the board

Since the introduction of the Enhanced Healthy Eating program, there have been great outcomes for customers at many Yooralla residential sites.

Customers in Lucknow have lost a combined total of 25kgs and enjoy a happier and healthier lifestyle now that they have more understanding and control over how to eat well for better health and enjoy treats in moderation.

“The customers have increased their opportunity to choose what they eat and have increased their knowledge of nutrition to make more informed choices,” said Gail.

“They seem to now enjoy a variety of nutritious, healthy and tasty meals and are very proud of their weight loss achievements,” she said.

“A customer at our site in Watsonia, has also seen some incredibly positive results, losing 15kg over a 12-month period,” said Jessica.

“Other customers have also managed to lose and maintain their weight loss and have a reduced risk of related health issues,” she said.

Find out more

Yooralla’s Enhanced Healthy Eating program is available to all residents who live at a Yooralla residential service.

Learn more about Yooralla’s Accommodation service, view our current Accommodation Vacancies, or contact:

Yooralla Tenancy Management
Phone: 03 9916 5771
Email: SDA@yooralla.com.au

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