For those who have spent time in our kitchen helping us produce and package meals and for those who’ve connected with our work in other ways, you know we talk a lot about medically-tailored meals – but what are medically tailored meals and how are they developed here at Moveable Feast?  Let’s begin with a definition from the Food is Medicine Coalition (FIMC), an association of nonprofit medically tailored food and nutrition service providers; “Medically tailored meals are meals approved by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that reflect appropriate dietary therapy based on evidence-based practice guidelines.” In fact, within FIMC there is a clinical committee that meets regularly to discuss current nutrition research. This group determines the nutrition standards for the meals within each diet.

How do we develop our tasty menus at Moveable Feast?

  1. Menu development begins with Executive Chef, Melanie Brown-Lane.  Chef Melanie is tasked with creating new recipes and inspiration for new meals comes from a variety of sources, ranging from client feedback to home-style favorites.
  2. Once Chef Melanie has a recipe fleshed out, it is sent to the Nutrition team to be analyzed for nutritional content.
  3. Next a recipe needs to be reviewed for quality, cost and capacity for production. “We operate on a budget and strive to meet the determined price-point per meal, while ensuring quality products are used,” remarks Chef Melanie.  Next, they analyze labor needs to produce the meal and food safety protocols.
  4. Then, the Food Services team runs a small batch, freezes the product, and conducts quality tests on how well it reheats.
  5. Once a recipe makes it to this stage, the kitchen completes a trial production, and all staff participate in tasting the meal and providing feedback.  Any additional changes are made to the meals and the nutrition is updated to reflect the final product.

Let’s take an example of a client favorite like our Italian Sausage and Peppers. This meal was originally too high in sodium. Our Food Services and Nutrition teams worked together, with support from our vendors, to use a lower sodium sausage so that this meal could continue to be on our menu. Currently, we are working to incorporate even more client feedback in our menu development process.

Through collaboration and connection our Food Services and Nutrition teams create delicious and healthy meals to support our clients living at the intersection of serious chronic illness and food insecurity

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