Challenges in planning long-term care menus that meet dietary recommendations.Can J Diet Pract Res. 2013 Summer; 74(2):84-7.CJ
Long-term care (LTC) homes plan menus based on Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide (CFG) recommendations for older adults. To determine whether recommended CFG servings and nutrients were being provided, we analyzed the menu of a large LTC facility in a metropolitan area and compared our analysis with a similar one conducted in 2000.
A full week's menu from a large Saskatoon LTC facility was analyzed and compared with CFG and recent Dietary Recommended Intake nutrient recommendations. The menu was analyzed using The Food Processor SQL. The 2011 menu was compared with the similar 2000 menu analysis to permit an evaluation of changes over a decade.
The 2011 menu demonstrated a significant improvement in servings of vegetables and fruit (4.6 to 7.2 servings). Servings of grain products had declined from 4.9 to 3.6 and servings of milk and alternatives had declined from 2.4 to 1.2 since 2000. Servings of meat and alternatives, total carbohydrate, and protein were not significantly different. Foods on the 2011 menu were lower in fat and higher in dietary fibre and offered more vitamins and minerals.
Greater attention to the planning of LTC menus may explain improvements in the 2011 LTC menu. The current menu, however, needs to overcome the challenges that prevent it from meeting CFG recommendations for older adults.