Small changes to recipes have big impacts on nutrition in LTC

Posted On: December 3, 2019

Group of seniors having food in nursing home, a nurse is servingA 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 Professor 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 Prof. 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 Prof. Keller to develop nutrition tools for LTC homes based on the study findings.

Photo of Heather KellerIn 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.

About the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care

The Ontario CLRI is funded by the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Long-Term Care, and hosted at Baycrest Health Sciences, Bruyère, and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging.

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