‘Food Glorious Food’ 6 free fabulous foodie things for excellent activities in care and nursing homes

Food from the past

To bring instant foodie fun into your care home, here are 6 activity ideas for you to use.


Make a display of kitchen equipment relating to food e.g. cooking equipment – big brown mixing bowls, whisks, rolling pins, wooden spoons, old scales, cake tins, old recipe books, packets / tins of food, aprons, photos of kitchens in 1950s / 60s.

Music while you prepare for your activity:

‘If I knew you were comin’ I’d’ve baked a cake’ by Eileen Barton

Food Glorious Food
  1. Poetry

Read a foodie poem; we read Baking Day’ from our Poetry book – ‘Now share a verse’ available from Amazon.

Baking day (verse one)

Baking day was the very best time,

It’s a favourite memory of mine.

Smells in the kitchen, bread and cakes 

And even more delicious bakes.

Swiss rolls, biscuits, meat or fruit pie,

Bread and butter pudding, a delight to try.

Rock cakes, scones, and Arctic roll, 

All came from that brown mixing bowl.

Jam roly poly, Queen of puds,

After rationing it tasted so good.

You can also use our poem, ‘What’s for dinner?’ from ‘Now tell me more about you…’ available from Amazon

What’s for dinner?  (First 3 verses)

Watching all the chefs on telly,

Famous for food and the rest,

I remember when I was little,

Mum’s cooking was always best.

Breakfast was either grilled bacon,

A fried or scrambled egg would do,

Sometimes creamy, milky porridge,

Or buttered toast, a slice or two.

Lunch was usually our main meal,

With a delicious roast on Sunday,

Yorkshire puddings hot and crunchy.

Left over cold cuts on a Monday.

Meat and vegetables

2.Conversation Starters: ‘Baking day’

What did you use to bake in the kitchen?

What was your favourite pudding?

How did you make pastry?

Tell me about your favourite family recipes? Which ones were handed down?

What is your favourite food?

Conversation Starters: ‘What’s for dinner?’ 

What was your favourite food as a child?

What is your favourite roast dinner?

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

How did you cook your Yorkshire puddings?

Did you have any cooking disasters?

‘Share a verse… share a conversation…’

3. Reminiscence Avenues

The kitchen is often the heart of a home.

Ask your group – What do you remember about your kitchen?

Look at pictures of kitchens in the past.  Use a search engine to find pictures on the internet.

1950s kitchen

What are the similarities and differences to today’s kitchens? – Discuss

What is a pantry?

Look at old recipe books – talk about baking 

The old recipe book a lady brought to one of our sessions on ‘Food.’

Conversation starters:

I used to bake…

My favourite cake is… (this can be done by passing a bowl around the group and pretending to mix a cake.)

My favourite meal is…

4. Cooking capers!

Jam tarts


A tray of buns (fairy cakes)

Bake a tray of delights together.  It is lovely to share the texture of flour and sugar, to beat eggs and see the changes and to smell the results.

Simple recipe for buns (fairy cakes)

Use old weights for reminiscence

4oz (110g) Self Raising flour

4oz (110g) soft butter

4oz (110g) caster sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1– 2 tbsps milk

1tsp vanilla extract


Pre – heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4 and line 2 x 12-hole bun tin with paper cases. 

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. 

Beat in the eggs a little at a time.

Fold in the flour with a metal spoon. Carefully add a couple of drops of vanilla extract 

Add a little milk to make it a soft dropping consistency. 

Spoon the mixture into the paper bun cases until they are half full. 

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into one comes out clean.

Leave on a rack to cool.

Decorate as you wish – icing, chocolate, lemon drizzle for example

Remember you are talking to the baking generation and they will have many delicious recipes in their heads which they can share.  Make this as person–centred as possible – we have found that conversation flows.  We have also learnt some tasty recipes in this way.

5. Fragrance Circles

Use fragrances to stir memories and encourage conversation 


Herbs – basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme

Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, 

Cake flavouring – orange, lemon, chocolate, coffee, dried fruit


6. Music

Fun music for this foodie topic is:

Food Glorious Food

Boiled beef and carrots

I like coffee I like tea

A taste of honey

Shortnin’ Bread

A spoonful of sugar

And the song which we used in the preparation time:

If I knew you were comin’ I’d’ve baked a cake

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