If you've booked a catering company for an event that will be attended primarily by elderly people, here are some things to remember when making the food-related decisions for this occasion.
Take the guests' ages into consideration when it comes to portion sizes and food textures
The owner of the catering business will probably ask you to give them an idea of what portion sizes you want to serve, as well as what types of dishes you'd like to provide. It's important to take the guests' age into consideration when answering these questions. Firstly, many people find that the older they get, the more their appetite shrinks. This is a normal part of ageing. As such, in this situation, you should request that the caterer provide modest portions, particularly if you'll be serving multiple courses, as it's unlikely that most of the elderly guests will be able to finish mountains of food and they may even be put off if their plates are piled too high. If you don't do this, you may end up wasting money ordering too much food that won't get eaten, when you could have used this money to request smaller portions of higher-quality food.
When making decisions regarding the menu, you should also specify that the caterer should avoid using ingredients that have a hard or sticky texture (such as pine nuts in the salads or pasta dishes, or chewy caramel pieces in the desserts), as many elderly people wear dentures. If even a third or a quarter of the elderly guests who attend this catered event wear them, these individuals may find that consuming the aforementioned foods results in them having to remove their dentures to extract the food pieces that end up stuck in them or worse still, these foods might actually damage their dentures.
Ask the catering business to put highly-fragrant ingredients in each course
When doing the menu-planning with the caterer, you should also emphasise that you'd like each course to include at least one or two highly-fragrant ingredients (such as fresh coriander, basil or ginger). This is because a person's sense of smell often dulls as they age.
Because smelling food is such a huge part of enjoying it, it follows that an elderly person, whose sense of smell is not as keen as it once was, may find dishes whose ingredients are less fragrant quite bland. Given this, if you want to ensure that the elderly guests enjoy each dish they're presented with, you must tell the caterer how important it is for them to include large handfuls of fragrant ingredients in the meals they prep for this event. You may even want to instruct them to put a bit more of these ingredients in the dishes than they themselves would find palatable.
For more information, contact a catering service.