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Nutrients 2015, 7(9), 7580-7592; doi:10.3390/nu7095354

Menu Planning in Residential Aged Care—The Level of Choice and Quality of Planning of Meals Available to Residents

Centre for Dietetics Research, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD 4072, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 August 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 27 August 2015 / Published: 9 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Choice and Nutrition: A Social Psychological Perspective)
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Abstract

Background: Choice of food is an imperative aspect of quality of life for residents in Residential Aged Care Homes (RACHs), where overall choice and control is diminished upon entering a home to receive care. The purpose of this study was to examine the current strategies of menu planning in a range of RACHs in Australia, and whether this facilitated appropriate levels of choice for residents receiving texture modified and general diets. Methods: The study comprised a National Menu Survey using a new survey instrument collecting general information about the RACH and foodservice system, menu information and staffing information (n = 247); a national menu analysis (n = 161) and an observational case study of 36 meal environments. Results: Choice was low for the entire sample, but particularly for those receiving pureed texture modified diets. Evidence of menu planning to facilitate the inclusion of choice and alternatives was limited. Discussion: Regulation and monitoring of the Australian Aged Care Accreditation Standards needs to be strengthened to mandate improvement of the choice and variety offered to residents, particularly those on pureed texture modified diets. Further research on how menu choice and a lack of variety in meals affects the quality of life residents is needed in this context, but current evidence suggests the effect would be detrimental and undermine resident autonomy and nutritional status. View Full-Text
Keywords: menu planning; choice; quality; Aged Care Standards menu planning; choice; quality; Aged Care Standards
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Abbey, K.L.; Wright, O.R.L.; Capra, S. Menu Planning in Residential Aged Care—The Level of Choice and Quality of Planning of Meals Available to Residents. Nutrients 2015, 7, 7580-7592.

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