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Retirement living residents cook up a storm

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Residents at Bolton Clarke’s Macquarie View retirement community have been cooking up a storm every week as part of the Recipes for Life program.

The first group of six residents came together once a week with dietitian Edwina Mingay to cook, learn and eat together, with meals ranging from beef and gnocchi casserole quiche and pumpkin soup.

The program is based on University of Newcastle research and promotes healthy eating for older people living in retirement villages.

It includes an educational component around healthy eating and nutrition, as well as practical experience cooking meals and social opportunities to cook and eat together.

“I’ve never had to cook for years and years because my wife has always done it,” one resident said.

“Now she’s not well, so I was really keen about this.

“It’s like all things – carpentry or a trade or something – where you’re taught from the word go how to use the tools, and this is exactly what I’ve learned here. I know where the tools are and what you can get and what you can use, and that’s important to me.”

Over the six-week program residents cooked meals ranging from beef stir-fry with rice followed by apple bread and butter pudding to beef and gnocchi casserole and pear crumble.

Macquarie View Retirement Living Manager Kristie Craft said the program had been a great success – and residents had given her a taste test of some of the results.

Planning is now underway for a second series of sessions to give others the opportunity to get involved.