Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dish. At the Bistro at Integrace Copper Ridge, customers can order it in one of two ways, solid or pureed.
Executive Chef Krista Adams says they pipe out the spaghetti noodles, puree and roll the meatballs into orbs and even puree and shape the garlic bread to look like garlic bread.
She says the dishes taste exactly the same. The pureed version is for the residents at Copper Ridge who have dementia and may have trouble chewing or swallowing, one of the many issues that comes with dementia.
"We have spaghetti that's been piped out, we have homemade meatballs that have been rolled and the meat sauce that's been pureed as well 18:56
"We want to make sure we have texture modified diets where our residents can dine with dignity," said Adams.
The Bistro also offers "Fresh Bites," which are appetizer-size versions of the entrees served at the Bistro. Adams says its for people who have limited dexterity and have trouble using a fork or knife.
Everything at the Bistro, from the ingredients in the menu items to the way the dishes are served, is designed for people living with dementia. Integrace Copper Ridge provides support for people and their families who are living with cognitive disorders, like Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Nicole Absar is the medical director of the Copper Ridge Memory Clinic and works with Adams and the Bistro team to develop menu items targeted at developing brain power.
"We're all changing our lifestyle, changing our food, our mental health and how we interact with the environment," she said.
The menu centers around the MIND diet, which is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets. It includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and protein and cuts out red meat, sugar and cheese. Studies have shown the foods work with the chemicals in the brain to slow the progression of and prevent cognitive deterioration.
"When you lose the brain volume, you lose the memory and you lose the feelings of good or motor functions and sensory functions," Absar said.
"There are foods that improve our happy feelings and improve not only cognition but feeling good about ourselves."
Dr. Absar knows changing habits doesn't happen instantly, but she hopes the Bistro's unique menu items encourage residents, caregivers and even the staff to give mindful eating a try.
"We are what we eat so this is our philosophy," said Absar.
The Bistro is also open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.