At Acorns, our Chefs know the power of food – for your health, growth, and general nutrition. But it is also something our Chefs believe can bring great comfort.
Our kitchen and dining areas are right in the centre of our hospices – a hive of activity, the heart of the home. There’s a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere in the spaces and our Chefs get to watch it all from their hatches as they plan the day.
Planning is really important in a kitchen and even more so at Acorns. The children have a variety of conditions which come with their own dietary needs, so we need to ensure we can adapt our menus and how we prepare their meal.
Some children may be on specific diets, they may have an allergy, or they may need their food blended. So, our Chefs start their day by talking with the nursing staff to see which children as visiting our hospices. They’ll then have a look at the day’s menu and make any changes for each child.
At Acorns we have a Summer and Winter menu to fit in with what’s in season. Every five weeks, our Chefs sit down to update the menu. It’s really important that we offer balanced meals. We also like to include traditional favourites to give that home from home feel. For example, Fridays are often a fish and chip supper and on Sundays, it’s a roast dinner.
Our catering teams like to use local produce and suppliers. Nothing says local like the hospice vegetable patching, lovingly tended to by children, siblings and our garden volunteers.
But we don’t just cater for the children visiting our hospices. We also cater for the whole family – that could be mum, dad, grandad, brothers, and sisters – anyone from the child’s family who joining us that day.
It’s really important to get them involved in mealtimes because it’s such a key part of home life. Seeing everyone coming together is just magical.