A Harrogate care organisation has been awarded the highest standard in a new initiative to recognise those North Yorkshire businesses that are providing their customers with healthier eating choices.
Harrogate Neighbours has become the first care home to be accredited with a Gold standard in North Yorkshire County Council’s Healthier Choice Awards.
To qualify for the award, the housing association, which runs two care facilities at Greenfield Court and Heath Lodge, had the menu options and nutritional value of the residents’ meals assessed by the Council’s trading standards team.
Harrogate Neighbours, which provides care and support for 78 residents, also runs Food Angels, a service that provides a hot meal to approximately 100 elderly people a day who still live in their own home.
The Healthier Choice awards are free to enter for businesses that have a food hygiene rating of three or above and offer menus that are compliant with food information requirements. Each healthier option is assessed against set criteria and awarded a gold, silver or bronze standard.
Sue Cawthray, chief executive of Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association commented:
It is fantastic to have our meal service recognised through these awards, particularly as good nutrition is a vital component of care for the elderly.
Our catering team works hard to ensure there are healthier options available at mealtimes and that the complex nutritional requirements of each resident are met. This includes providing ready access to drinks such as water and fruit juices, and healthier grazing options like fresh fruit so that residents, particularly those living with dementia who often eat little and often during the day, can still have a balanced diet.
County Councillor David Chance, Executive Member for Public Health and Stronger Communities. said:
I’m delighted that Harrogate Neighbours and Food Angels are involved in the healthier choices project and have gone for gold from the start.
This campaign is being rolled out in and around Harrogate following a successful pilot project in the Scarborough area in partnership with participating food preparation businesses. It is part of the County Council’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of people in North Yorkshire by tackling obesity and encouraging physical leisure activities.