MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sunrise Senior Living today announced it has joined the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Center for Nutritional Policy and Promotion (CNPP) as a MyPlate National Strategic Partner. In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama released a new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder for Americans to build a healthy diet aligned with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines. As a partner, Sunrise will help promote MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines to help seniors and their families make healthy food choices. Sunrise is the first and only senior living provider to become a National Strategic Partner, among the more than 100 organizations in this network.
“USDA is pleased to welcome Sunrise Senior Living as a National Strategic Partner supporting and promoting MyPlate communication, and reaching its residents and families across the nation with important healthy eating information,” said Angie Tagtow, Executive Director, USDA, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. “Meals are a key part of our lives. They give us nourishment and a chance to spend time with friends, family and others.”
“We are proud to partner with USDA to help promote healthy diets, especially for seniors, who we know first-hand have unique nutritional needs,” said Chris Winkle, chief executive officer for Sunrise. “This partnership is an extension of our current commitment to senior nutrition – both in the well-balanced meals we serve residents daily through the Sunrise Signature Dining program and helpful resources available to the public, such as a food-focused blog.”
The Sunrise Signature Dining program offers delicious, home-cooked meals made from the freshest ingredients. Menus offer a variety of options for residents, and are filled with fruits and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and whole grains. Earlier this year, Sunrise began highlighting dining menus on communities’ individual webpages, which include nutritional information for each recipe. The feature allows residents and their families to see the nutritional breakdown of each meal to help them make informed decisions when dining.
“We look to the latest Dietary Guidelines so that we can continue making flavorful, healthy meals that are focused on the five food groups available to our residents. Sunrise also caters to our seniors’ dietary needs, such as providing low-sodium and high-fiber options,” said Tim Whelan, vice president of Dining Services and Senior Nutrition for Sunrise. “Sunrise chefs enjoy preparing well-balanced dishes from scratch, and we take great pride in serving these to help enhance quality of life for residents at our communities.”
According to the Institute of Medicine (U.S.) Food Forum panel on nutrition concerns for aging populations, over 80 percent of those 65 and older have unique nutritional needs as a result of chronic diseases and medical conditions. Dietary needs tend to evolve with aging, as older adults become less active, their metabolisms decrease and their ability to absorb and utilize many nutrients become less efficient, meaning their nutrient requirements increase.
Sunrise will begin by featuring educational MyPlate information on its Senior Eats® Blog as well as Facebook and Twitter. The MyPlate icon will also appear on Sunrise’s dining webpage and upcoming edition of the annual cookbook, Recipes From the Heart, as a visual reminder to think about building a healthy plate at meal times based on the Dietary Guidelines.
About Sunrise Senior Living
Sunrise Senior Living, a McLean, Va.-based company, employs approximately 30,500 people. As of November 1, 2015, Sunrise operated 307 communities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, including 15 Gracewell Healthcare communities, with a total unit capacity of approximately 27,400. Sunrise offers a full range of personalized senior living services, including independent living, assisted living, care for individuals with Alzheimer's and other forms of memory loss, as well as nursing and rehabilitative services. Sunrise's senior living services are delivered by team members who are trained to encourage independence, preserve dignity, enable freedom of choice and protect the privacy of residents. To learn more about Sunrise, please visit SunriseSeniorLiving.com.