Dietitians know that using spices instead of fat, salt and butter is a great way to eat healthier without giving up great flavor. Sloan Griffith, dietitian with Morrison Community Living, reached out to spice manufacturer McCormick for an assist with spicing up the seniors’ lives. McCormick provided spices, spice blends and recipes.
Coinciding with National Nutrition Month, the Spice Table activity took place at Brooks Bartram, a skilled nursing, assisted living and dementia care facility in Jacksonville, Fla. Griffith, Dining Director Meghan Clark and part-time dietitian Sheron Weeks chose to do this cooking-focused event within Brooks Bartram’s skilled nursing facility, “as we have a lot of short-term residents that will be transitioning home,” Clark says. The event was also open to staff and visitors.
A do-it-yourself spice table was set out during lunchtime, and anyone in attendance could grab a prebagged spice blend or build their own from the various spices on display in order to make rubs, marinades and more at home. Spices included turmeric, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, thyme, red pepper flakes, ground ginger, black pepper and cocoa powder.
Literature nearby provided info on the health benefits of different spices, notably turmeric, which has been in the spotlight for the past couple of years for its health benefits.
Tied into the event was a grain table, part of Morrison’s ongoing super food of the month promotion. Oatmeal was the featured grain, with samples of easy-to-make energy bites available.
Another part of the table setup featured an educational component: The debate between which is healthier, garlic salt or garlic powder? And also, onion salt or onion powder? It turns out that if you’re watching your sodium intake, the powder versions are better to use.
Clark says she’s looking forward to more interactive activities from the dietitian duo.
“These two dietitians do a phenomenal job day in and day out,” she says. “They have a passion for what they do and every month they’re featuring interactive tables and recipes for everyone in our building.”