Innovative and contemporary menu at St Margaret's

St Margaret's College "offers residents an innovative, contemporary menu, reflecting a strongly resident-focussed food service."

So says Dr Penny Field, Director of Ad Summa Consulting and a registered dietitian who has plenty of years of experience in the area of nutrition and diet from an academic, policy and applied perspective.

The College recently contracted Dr Field to assess how our menus meet Members' food and nutrition needs. This is very important as the menu and recipes must provide a balanced diet containing all the foods and nutrients needed for good health and well-being.

On the lunch menu, 12/9/19
On the lunch menu, 12/9/19

To conduct her review, Dr Field assessed our six-weekly menus against NZ Ministry of Health and National Heart Foundation guidelines. She also undertook two site visits, enjoyed a meal at the College and met with senior Food Service staff and the Members' Food Committee on several occasions.

Dr Field's report provides the following commendations:

  • "The wide range of ethnic, traditional kiwi and modern foods offered on a menu with little repetition is impressive, particularly given the physical limitations of the kitchen. Equally impressive is the level of choice offered every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Ready availability of freshly prepared lunch salads, vegetables for dinner, raw fruit and chilled milk, homemade soups prepared daily Mon-Fri reflect a deep commitment to providing healthy choices.
  • A strong resident-centered approach is evident in staff attitudes and in residents’ experience. When asked how the St Margaret’s food service added value to their residential experience residents overwhelmingly responded that it was the “caring interpersonal interactions”. Residents valued being greeted by name, being nudged to make healthy choices and staff noticing when they were absent from meals."

As you can imagine, it is an enormous challenge to continually satisfy 224 Members from 26 different countries and cultures regarding food. However, our Food Service staff do an amazing job in providing a variety of different types of food on a daily basis so that there is plenty of choice for our young people (interesting fact: 10 different breakfast cereals - plus oats porridge in the winter - are available each day in addition to a cooked breakfast).

In the 2019 survey of Members conducted by the University, our Members gave the College's Food Service an overall score of 1.7 on a five-point scale where 1 = Excellent and 5 = Poor. Congratulations to all our wonderful Food Service staff led by our Head Chef, Bede Beaumont!

The accompanying photos show what is on offer for lunch today - 12 September 2019.

(Story by the Master, Dr Charles Tustin)

Posted: Thursday September 12, 2019