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It’s good practice to offer your residents a minimum of two courses at both lunch and evening meal times. Many care homes provide a main dish followed by a dessert, however starters can also play an important role on your menu. A small starter can be useful for residents who don’t have a ‘sweet tooth’ plus they also provide an opportunity to add some additional variety to your menu cycles.

Offering something small before a main meal can be a great way to increase the energy intake of your residents. For example, soup can be comforting for some residents and can stimulate the appetite when served in small portions (although shouldn’t be relied upon as a sole main meal choice). Ideally, they should contain at least 100 calories and 3g protein per serving* especially for those who are nutritionally vulnerable. Our Spicy Red Pepper & Lentil and Mushroom, Cheese & Garlic soups are not only delicious and easy to eat but designed to meet these dietary recommendations.



  • Offer residents a choice – consider a healthier option and a more energy-dense dish.
  • Include fruits, vegetables or salad within starters to help resident reach their recommended 5-a-day.
  • If offering soup, ensure it has enough calories and protein, especially for those residents at risk of malnutrition.
  • Fortify starters if needed - using butter, cream or cheese can help add those extra calories and protein, like these deliciously cheesy Macaroni Bites.
  • Make sure your starters are an appropriate size, you don’t want a resident with a small appetite to be so full they can’t eat their main meal.