Posted in Puree Diets

Nothing Standard About Standard Recipes

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 23 January 2020
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Do you use standard recipes in your aged care home? There are many good reasons to use a standard recipe when cooking for older people. The 2 most important are:

  • to keep the residents safe and
  • to meet the expectations of the residents.

We all know that some Chefs or cooks can cook an amazing meal that no-one else can seem to replicate.  It is important that the recipe is documented so that others can get as close to their finished product as possible.  This should result in a high standard of quality across the whole menu.

Also, using a standard recipe will ensure that all the ingredients are available when needed, there will be enough food to feed all the residents and allergens can be managed.  This way all residents can enjoy the same meal with some modifications.

Make sure that the standard recipes are always available to all the cooking staff.  A clean folder in the office around the corner that no-one looks at, just might indicate that the recipes are not followed.  An easy to follow recipe which is available in the production area and that indicates the number of serves is a very useful tool.

People in residential aged care spend a lot of their time thinking about food.  If they expect a meal to look and taste the same way that they had previously, we need to ensure that we can do this every time.  A standard recipe should be able to deliver this!

About the Author Nutrition Professionals Australia is a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians who consult to aged care homes across Australia.  They have more than 40 years of combined experience in a range of roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.

Delicious Snacks for All!

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 9 January 2020
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A goal in residential aged care is for residents to enjoy a range of meals throughout the day which includes delicious main meals, mid-meals and drinks.  As our appetite reduces, so the need to provide nutritious snacks becomes even more important.  The mid meal should be appealing and provide the nutrients that are likely to have been missed by having a smaller serve at the main meal. 

Options include:

  • a range of home baked cakes,
  • sweet or savoury baked items like scones and pikelets,
  • savoury plates with cheese and crackers and
  • items based on fruit and dairy foods, such as yoghurt, ice-cream or custard

When a resident commences a modified texture diet (soft, minced and moist or pureed) it is very common to find that mid meals are no longer offered! This can result in weight loss and malnutrition. Sometimes the only options offered are monotonous- the same fruit and custard or yoghurt every day with no variety.  This soon becomes very unappealing and the resident's appetite can fall even further.

We know malnutrition is high amongst those needing modified diets, so the mid meals are even more important to their overall quality of life.   It is important to continually look at interesting ways to present the main meals with molds, piping, layering, but it is also important to give the humble mid-meals the consideration that our residents deserve.

About the Author Nutrition Professionals Australia is a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians who consult to aged care homes across Australia.  They have more than 40 years of combined experience in a range of roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.

Food First!

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 14 November 2019
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We often hear, 'Food is only nutrition if its eaten!'.  Never a truer word has been spoken. Nutritious quality food is essential to maintain the quality of life for older people who are either living in the community or in an aged care home. 

Experienced aged care Dietitians are committed to finding food solutions, a 'Food First approach' to meet older peoples' nutrition needs. Commercial nutrition supplements can play a role in aged care but will never take the place of quality food.

If you find that there is a high use of commercial supplements in a home it may mean that the menu needs to be reviewed by an aged care Dietitian to identify how the menu and food provided can meet the nutrition requirements of residents. But remember, it must be eaten for it to be nutritious!

About the Author: Nutrition Professionals Australia is a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians who consult to aged care homes across Australia. They have more than 40 years of combined experience in a range of roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian. 

Are you IDDSI compliant?

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 3 October 2019
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Is your home or service IDDSI compliant? 

From May of 2019, the terminology used to describe and classify modified texture meals and fluids was formally adopted across the community, country and the world. 

There are minor but very significant changes to the way the textures and thickened fluids are described.  Many resources can be found at www.iddsi.org and there are apps available to help you through the journey. 

It's important that all the members of the team - nursing, care, food service, lifestyle and volunteers - are familiar with the changes.  

So, have you made the change to IDDSI? 

About the Author Nutrition Professionals Australia is a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians who consult to aged care homes across Australia.  They have more than 40 years of combined experience in a range of roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.  

Make sure every mouthful counts!

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 5 September 2019
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People who need a modified texture diet often have several medical problems, resulting in a poor appetite and intake. In addition, the food does not look the same as it did before, meaning that people needing this type of diet are at high risk of losing weight.

Weight loss without trying can mean loss of muscle and condition and can contribute to poor health.

All texture modified foods should be fortified with protein and energy additions.
  • Protein is the nutrient that is needed the most, so include the meat, fish, chicken, egg portion of the meal in preference to 'eating all of the vegetables'.
  • Add items such as milk, milk powder, egg, grated cheese, legume powders to boost protein intake.
  • Use full fat dairy foods.
  • Use cream, oil, butter, margarine to add additional calories to the food.

It's very challenging to fortify modified texture food to the correct level and present the meal in a way that the person still enjoys  the food and the dining experience.

About the Author Nutrition Professionals Australia is a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians who consult to aged care homes across Australia.  They have more than 40 years of combined experience in a range of roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.  

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