NPA Blog


NPA and COVID-19

Posted by Nutrition Professionals Australia on 26 March 2020
NPA and COVID-19

NPA is taking active steps to ensure the health and safety of both its customers and staff during this difficult time.  We continue to deliver quality services to our customers to maintain their health and wellbeing. We are actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, preparing and implementing precautionary actions, and closely following the advice and recommendations of the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Additionally, we are:
  • Reinforcing standard transmission precautions (including hand hygiene and social distancing) with our dietitians.
  • Liaising with each aged care home regarding their specific procedures.
  • Ensuring that our dietitians are only travelling for essential service delivery reasons.
  • Ensuring a flu immunisation for staff.
Dietitian Consultations:

It is always important for older people to eat well, but especially so now to ensure that they have good nutrition and an optimal immune system.

NPA dietitians will continue to offer nutrition and dietetic services and individual consultations to care homes according to the organisation's specific procedures.

Where required we are able to offer a remote service using a variety of methods:

  • Remote login to the clinical software and Medimap where possible
  • Transfer of client information via secure Dropbox or Fax
  • Skype or Zoom consultations with staff and consumers
Audit of Menu and Nutrition Care:

NPA continue to offer an audit of menu and nutrition care according to the new quality standards. This may be conducted in person, or can also be offered as a remote service. NPA will ask you to fill in a questionnaire, measure weights of foods and take photos of meals. The dietitian will conduct a phone interview with key staff and will provide a comprehensive report with recommendations against the new standards.

Online Training and Education:

It is recognised that traditional training methods are no longer possible. NPA can offer:

  • Access to our online training modules (free for those organisations with a contract with NPA)
  • Interactive webinars- all you need is a laptop with a camera, an iPad or tablet of even a mobile phone!
Posted in:Aged Care  

I can't eat all of that!

Posted by Nutrition Professionals Australia on 12 March 2020
I can't eat all of that!

We often hear older people exclaim: 'I can't eat all of that'!  The meal size may look quite small to us when our appetites are healthy.  Unfortunately, as we age, activity and appetites can dwindle.  We must keep this in mind when we are providing meals- we need to offer a range of serve sizes.  This can be very challenging.

Many aged care homes document that residents require a small, medium or large serve.  In practice what does this mean?  Do we use different sized serving utensils for each size?  Over the years, NPA have seen very few homes that have standard serves sizes documented with the respective serving utensils.  It is often left to each staff member to determine the size of the meal.

If the serves are bigger than the resident's appetite, we run the risk of them not eating anything at all and the resident becoming even more malnourished.  If a resident requests small or extra small serves, this should be respected but the mid meals and nourishing fluids become even more important as a source of nutrients.

If a resident requests a small, medium or large serve we need to provide the right quantity consistently across the menu!

Posted in:Aged Care StandardsNutrition Professionals AustraliaRiskDietitianMeal presentationAged CareMalnutritionMenusFood ServiceNutrition  

Communication is the Key!

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 27 February 2020
Communication is the Key!

Residents in an aged care setting must receive the correct meal at the correct time, every day.  

If a resident has a special dietary need, the details are recorded in the resident's care plan and communicated carefully to the kitchen staff to ensure all the dietary limitations are actioned.  More importantly the resident is not unnecessarily restricted and as many choices are provided as possible. We can use a range of communication methods to ensure that this occurs. 

The system for communication between nursing staff and kitchen staff should be effective, simple and safe.  A Dietitian and Speech Pathologist often contribute to this food and nutrition care plan and will also communicate directly with the kitchen staff.  The resident's dietary details list will need to be maintained.  So, when there is a change for a resident, that change is immediately communicated with the kitchen and any lists used are immediately updated.

It must be very clear whose responsibility it is to update all lists to ensure they are accurate and reflect the residents' current dietary needs. These lists must also be referred to whenever providing food or fluids to any residents.

What system of communication do you use? Are you relying on paperwork or do you use a clinical software system? Are you using a dedicated food service software system? Reports from client software packages can ensure that all information is up to date at all times and they can generate usable lists that can be referred to in the kitchen.  A key factor is to keep the system that you use simple. Minimise the number of lists- the more lists there are, the more likely it is that they will not match.

When NPA conduct audits of nutrition care it is very common to find anomalies when comparing the care plans with lists in the kitchen.  Regular audits should be undertaken by the care home to ensure integrity of the information and to provide reassurance that the right meal is provided to the right person.

Posted in:Nutrition Professionals AustraliaRiskProteinMeal presentationIDDSIAged CareMalnutritionMenusSpecial DietsFood ServiceWeightNutrition  

Understanding food related risks- workshop

Posted by Nutrition Professionals Australia on 17 February 2020
Understanding food related risks- workshop

Does your organisation understand its food and nutrition risks? Are you meeting the new Aged Care Quality Standards for Nutrition Care? What is the real cost of poor nutrition in your organisation?

The food served in aged care homes is in the spotlight. Consumers are increasingly demanding a better quality of food and have greater needs than ever before. In addition, the costs associated with providing good food and good nutrition care are increasing.

The true costs of providing the correct nutrition to consumers is hidden. Do you know how much you spend on oral nutrition supplements, aperients, wound dressings and wound care? Food Services are often seen as separate from Clinical Care when in fact food and nutrition sit under every one of the new Aged Care Quality Standards,

NPA are offering a new workshop in 2020:


CLICK HERE for a program.

Adelaide Pavillion

Friday 3rd April 2020 | 8.00am to 12.00pm | Registration at 8.30am

This workshop will explore how the new standards relate to nutrition care. This workshop is designed for all Managers in Aged Care Homes- CEO/ Site Manager/ Care Manager/ Food Service Manager/ QI Coordinator and wll assist your organisation to:

  • Meet Accreditation standards for nutrition care
  • Identify nutrition risks for your residents
  • Understand your menu offering and dining experience
  • Improve knowledge of nutrition needs of consumers
  • Decrease cost of supplements, wound dressings and aperiants
  • Ensure accurate catering for allergies and dysphagia
  • Minimise numbers of consumers with indicators for mandatory reporting
  • Contain costs

CLICK HERE to register for the day.



Think ST Solutions will also provide a seminar in the coming weeks to complement NPA's approach: Reviewing a Food Safety Management Plan.

Adelaide Pavillion

Friday 15 May 2020 | 9am to 12pm

Andrew Thompson states that: "Food safety compliance is an area of operational risk which is largely overlooked across the foodservice sector. Ignoring operational risk can expose any foodservice operation to significant losses."

To register contact Andrew on or see website

All managers are encouraged to attend both workshops to truly undertand the risks associated with food and nutrition in aged care and to ensure compliance with Accreditation standards.


Posted in:Aged Care StandardsNutrition Professionals AustraliaAccreditationRiskSeminarsFood SafetyAged CareFood ServiceNutrition  

Keeping those fluids up!

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 13 February 2020
Keeping those fluids up!
Trying to meet hydration needs of older people is always challenging but it is even more challenging in the peak of Summer in Australia.  As described in the last article, many foods such as custard and soups provide fluid and some nutrition and these should be used as a priority.

Other practical strategies to increase fluid intake include:

  • Identify those at risk of dehydration
  • Record and review consumption
  • Encourage enthusiastically
  • Encourage residents to drink with others
  • Use familiar cups or mugs
  • Offer fluids at every meal and snack
  • Offer a wide variety of drinks
  • Offer preferred fluids - resident may drink cordial better than water
  • Offer iceblocks/ icecreams/ jellies
Posted in:Nutrition Professionals AustraliaRiskWaterFluidsDietitianAged CareMenusFood ServiceNutritionHydration