A recent study on nutrition may help to address nutrition in older adults living in long-term care (LTC). The Nutrition in Disguise (NiD) study, by Dr. Heather Keller, Research Chair in Nutrition and Aging at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging, showed that enhancing recipes through small changes to ingredients can meet the need for more nutritionally dense food in LTC.
“Older adults living in residential care often have poor intake for a variety of reasons,” said Dr. Keller. “Easy to eat foods that taste good are often preferred. However these foods are often lower in vitamins and minerals. Adequate intake of these key nutrients is needed to support overall health including ability to remain as independent as possible. ”
The Ontario CLRI is partnering with Dr. Keller to develop nutrition tools for LTC homes based on the study findings.
In the study, a seven-day menu was substituted with one or two nutrient-enhanced foods. Enhanced recipes were created to increase intake of vitamins such as B6 and B12. Researchers compared the nutrients and cost of the new menu and the original menu. The study found that the enhancement of micronutrients through ingredients in recipes is a feasible strategy to tackle micronutrient malnutrition in older adults.
Stay tuned for these new tools coming in 2020, but in the meantime, the Ontario CLRI have other resources available for mealtime experiences in LTC.