Aged Care Residents Simply Deserve Better


Article by 

Maggie Beer

We Love Our Maggie

One of Australia’s most well-known and much-loved cooks, Maggie Beer, has been on an important mission. A food mission for older Australians, that is. For more than five decades, we have grown to witness and experience her unbridled passion and joy around food. Maggie’s grassroots, no-nonsense approach to wholesome and local produce, has been the catalyst for creating hundreds of mouth-watering recipes. These have been embraced in homes around Australia.

Food nutritional value was the top priority

The opportunity for Maggie to direct that knowledge and elation around food to the most vulnerable communities in Australia was an opportunity for her that she could not refuse. If anything, Maggie has been front and centre using her voice and actions to create change to a sector that was starving for change. For Maggie, it has been a true labour of love using her public platform through The Maggie Beer Foundation, to highlight the challenges and issues around aged care nutrition.

There have been significant challenges around meals offered in aged care facilities.

Food nutritional value was the top priority. Lacklustre offerings in some aged care facilities were a low blow to the residents.

Aged care residents simply deserve better

Early in the aged care food journey, Maggie joined forces with Dr Stephen Judd, the CEO of Hammond Homes and top chef Peter Morgan Jones to rewire food offerings at all Hammond Homes in Sydney.

While progress was being made in Sydney, Maggie knew there was so much more that could be done to create significant change in the sector when it came to aged care residents and presenting them with quality, nutritious meals – Australia wide.

A mix of talks with the Federal Government as well as joining a State Board in Adelaide for the Aged saw Maggie continue to unravel the frustrating amount of work that needed to be done in this sector.

But there was real hope for change. And Maggie knew that with her networks and profile, success was imminent, but she knew she had to drive it.

Despite a number of hurdles, in 2014, Maggie created The Maggie Beer Foundation and it was through the Foundation that

Maggie hit her stride in making a real difference

Maggie hit her stride in making a real difference. Fast forward eight years, The Maggie Beer Foundation has delivered education programs to many cooks and chefs working in aged care homes across Australia, along with their CEOs and Managers. In April 2022, The Maggie Beer Foundation then launched its innovative online training program. The program looked to improve food and nutrition across aged care facilities around the country. As a world first, the online training, featuring 11 modules is designed to upskill cooks and chefs in Aged Care and has been developed in partnership with

Altura Learning and William Angliss Institute.

Maggie is front and centre in the video training modules. She presents alongside some of Australia’s leading aged care chefs and experts in food, nutrition and dining experiences.

From ‘Embracing Food from Diverse Cultures’, ‘Rethinking Texture Modified Food’, to ‘Cook Fresh, Chill, Enhance’, and ‘Delivering High Protein All Day’, the modules are choc-a-bloc with easy to follow ideas and insights to create beautiful and nutritious menus for aged care residents. The beauty of the modules
is that recipes can also be downloaded, on ingredients, method, equipment, cost and nutritional profile. And upon completion of the 11 modules, the participant is formally recognised by The Maggie Beer Foundation.

“Older people deserve the very best food.”

“Older people deserve the very best food. Enticing delicious meals that uplift and bring joy. The findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and from the discussions at the National Congress on Food, Nutrition and the Dining experience in Aged Care held in February 2021 identified that the training of cooks and chefs In Aged Care is a large factor in the meals that are served.

Many cooks and chefs in Aged Care have no formal training

“Many of the cooks and chefs currently in Aged Care have no formal training in hospitality and are expected to learn on the job. The Foundation has been running face-to-face training courses since our inception in 2014 and what we know is that when that training is taken back into Aged Care homes, there have been positive changes in the well being of the residents and in the engagement of the staff,” Maggie said.

As a result, we expect improvements in food, nutrition and dining in Aged Care across
the country. “Altura Learning is highly credentialed and a leader in creating training for the aged care sector. Together, we have created high-quality, practical training which will make an immediate difference to the “We’re confident the online modules will see more cooks and chefs access training.

As carers, it is important that nutritious and tasty food form part of your lives and your elderly loved ones. At home, it is so important to create meals that are enjoyed by all and are packed with vitamins and minerals so you can all live well!

For some Maggie Beer inspiration

For some Maggie Beer inspiration, check out a couple of Maggie’s mouth-watering dishes that are not only good for you but will undoubtedly put a smile as big as Maggie’s on your face as well.

To learn more about the online training modules, please visit The Maggie Beer Website

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