CookEasy is a social enterprise under Tung Wah Group of Hospitals which has been providing diversified meals and catering services to enterprises and communities. In addition to delivering fresh food packs, they have officially launched “Comfort Soft Food” - the nutritious, high-spec, delicate soft meal for the frail elderly and those with dysphagia (people with swallowing difficulties). Not only does it allow those who needed to regain the joy and dignity of eating and re-taste home-cooked meals, but also relieves the pressure of their caregivers.
Home-cooked meals are the most delicious
Elderly people degenerate and some patients are weak due to illness, which all lead to swallowing difficulty. They cannot even eat a ground diet. Usually, they can have purée diet at most, which leads to loss of appetite. Over time, they become malnourished and may have irreparable harm. When CookEasy realized that the home-cooked meal is the most unforgettable delicious taste, they decided to launch “Comfort Soft Food” for the frail elderly and dysphagia. They use high-quality ingredients to make soft diets that not only retain their original flavour and are easy to swallow, but also can be stored and reheated easily. For caregivers, a high-quality soft meal allows them to provide a nutritious soft meal with colour, flavour, and taste, so that the elderly or those with dysphagia can regain the joy of eating. It encourages the elderly and sick patients to eat more, and also helps caregivers to relax a little bit. This is why CookEasy strives to develop exquisite soft foods.
Understanding of “Care Food” soft meals
Soft Meal (also known as “Care Food”) is a mousse-like semi-solid food developed for the special needs of people with dysphagia and frail elderly. The production principle is to ground the food, and then use a thickener to bind the food paste into a semi-solid food with a shape. Therefore, soft foods are able to keep the appearance of the original ingredients, and also retain the texture that is easy to swallow. At present, elderly homes and individual caregivers will make food into purée for the swallowing needs of people with dysphagia. However, due to various constraints such as manpower, equipment, production techniques and feeding procedures, the quality of most of the purée diet is very uneven and needs to be improved.
Florence Chan, Assistant Superintendent TWGHs Jockey Club Rehabilitation Complex said, “CookEasy’s soft food is characterized by retaining the original taste of the food, plus the factors such as its appearance, nutritional content, storage and reheating. Customers can easily prepare and consume soft foods. It has been providing a delicious soft meal solution which is truly cook-easy.”
Delicious Soft Meal Can be Eaten Easily
CookEasy “Comfort Soft Food” understand the needs of dysphagia and their caregivers, and suggests solving the problems with “Five EAT“:
- First of all, users must “EAT well“. According to the monthly magazine CHOICE published by the Consumer Council in July 2022, most packaged care food products in the market are not using *IDDSI international standards clearly to define food texture and the drink thickness. But CookEasy “Comfort Soft Food” is strictly reviewed by a team of speech therapists for IDDSI levels, so that caregivers and those with dysphagia can refer to and choose the packed soft foods for their soft diet;
- The second EAT is “EAT Enough“, the soft food products by “Comfort Soft Food” have been reviewed by registered dietitians and standardized to the recommended food daily intake. Those with dysphagia can consume enough energy, protein, fibre and other nutrients for daily use without worrying about malnutrition;
- The third EAT is “Taste of EATing“. All soft food products of “Comfort Soft Food” are using high-quality ingredients. In addition to preserving the original taste of the food during the production process, it also focuses on home-made tastes which familiar to Hong Kong people, such as the most popular vegetable choy-sum, shiitake mushrooms and chicken;
- The fourth EAT is “EAT easily“. “Comfort Soft Food” provides easy-to-reheat bento packs and affordable bulk-packed soft meal products for customers. And all delicate soft foods have a very thoughtful design in packaging, which is convenient to transfer to utensils for eating after reheating. Soft meal products can withstand reheating at temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius and remain in their original state. Compared with similar products on the market, the others reheating level is only limited to a specific temperature. Overheating will cause thermal dissolution and affect the appearance. In addition, soft meal products can be frozen and stored for up to 1 to 2 months, and there are clear guidelines for reheating, which makes it easy to eat, feed, store and reheat;
- The fifth EAT is “EAT affordably“. “Comfort Soft Food” is selling its soft food products at very reasonable prices. Also, a discount will be offered for non-profit organizations. They hope to fulfil the needs of people with dysphagia and caregivers.
In the process of R&D and production, the CookEasy team has encountered many constraints and difficulties. Kim Leung, the Business Coordinating Manager of TWGHs CookEasy mentioned, “We want to make exquisite and professional soft foods and we will never be sloppy. Through discussions with the Group’s speech therapists, we have tested the products and evaluated the IDDSI level for caregivers’ purchasing reference. Besides, our team is dedicated to the production of delicious soft foods as they have taken the initiative to try the products by themselves, even if they do not have a swallowing problem.” The core value of CookEasy “Comfort Soft Food” is to take the production of soft foods seriously.
*Source: July 2022 – Issue 549 CHOICE Monthly: The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative, IDDSI for short, is a set of 8-level dietary framework established by the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Organization for people with swallowing disorders worldwide in 2017, the framework defines food texture and drink thickness, and consumers can refer to the information provided in the framework to plan an appropriate diet for patients with swallowing disorders.
About Tung Wah Group of Hospitals
Since its establishment in 1870, TWGHs has been all along upholding its mission “To heal the sick and to relieve the distressed; to care for the elderly and to rehabilitate the disabled; to promote education and to nurture the youngsters; and to raise the infant and to guide the youth.” Nowadays, TWGHs is the largest charitable organisation with the longest history in Hong Kong. For more than one and a half centuries, TWGHs has persistently pioneered and marked significant milestones in medical and health, education, community, preservation of historical and cultural heritage, and traditional services to fulfill the needs of the society and to provide the public with high quality services at low rates or for free. Today, TWGHs operates 357 services units, including 5 hospitals and 37 Chinese and Western medicine services units, 60 education services units, 229 community services units that cover elderly, youth and family, rehabilitation, social enterprises and social innovation services, 2 records and heritage service units, namely, Tung Wah Museum and TWGHs Maisy Ho Archives and Relics Centre that aim to protect and preserve local traditional culture and history, as well as 24 traditional service units, offering funeral and burial services, temple and ritualistic services and key programmes.
CookEasy is one of the social enterprises of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals which has established in 2008. They are dedicated to produce fresh and high-quality food pack as well as cooked / semi-cooked food products to Hong Kong people. Meanwhile, they are also keen on providing working and training opportunities to people with disabilities. Regarding the core business, apart from providing fresh and convenient food pack delivery service, CookEasy offers flexible food manufacturing services and custom-made CSR solutions to corporates and communities in order to respond to operational needs and social responsibility engagement. They believe collaboration with the commercial sector is the best way to have win-win and sustainable outcome. At the moment, CookEasy has two licensed food factories, one is located at Aberdeen and the other is at Kwai Chung. They currently have 40 employees for the two factories and 60% of them are people with disabilities.
Tel: 3586 3874 / 9104 0974