Should extra nutrients be added to foods in long
Summary of Results
Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging
Should extra nutrients be added to foods in
What was this project about and why is it important?
It can be hard for residents living in long-term care (LTC) homes to get enough nutrients from
food because as people get older, they need fewer calories but still the same amount of
vitamins and minerals. Residents in LTC may also have other issues that affect the amount of
food they eat, such as poor appetite. Adding nutrients (e.g., vitamins and minerals) to some
foods served in LTC may help improve nutrition without increasing the amount of food
The purpose of this project was to find out what residents, family members, and team
members in LTC thought about adding nutrients to food and whether they would like to see
this happen in their home.
What did the research team do?
The researchers interviewed residents, family members, and team members in LTC, including
Registered Dietitians, nutrition managers, and cooks. Some were interviewed one-on-one, and
others were interviewed as a group. The research team asked the participants if they had any
concerns or saw any benefits to adding nutrients to some foods in LTC.
What did the research team find?
Overall, participants agreed that adding nutrients to some foods served in LTC would be a
good way to improve nutrition as long as research showed that it was safe and effective. The
participants provided some other feedback as well:
There would need to be clear, simple instructions for the team members who would
be adding extra nutrients to the food, or they would need to purchase foods that
already have extra nutrients added.
It would be important to tell residents and family members what foods had added
Residents should be able to choose whether or not they want to eat these foods.
Some good foods to add extra nutrients to would be soups, hot cereals and pudding.
How could this research be used in practice?
The results of this project show that residents, families and team members feel that adding
nutrients to some foods served in LTC is a possible way to improve nutrition. Although the
results can’t be used in practice right away, this study is the first step to getting more
nutritious food in LTC. Future research will focus on finding a way to add extra nutrients to
some foods in a way that is safe, effective and easy to implement in LTC, as well as planning
menus that have more nutrition in smaller amounts of food.
Who were the lead researchers for this project?
The lead researchers for this project were:
University of Waterloo
Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition & Aging
University of Waterloo
For more information about this project, or to discuss how the results of this project can
be used, please contact [email protected]