RNHA
    Registered Nursing Home Association

Nutritional guidelines from the FSA

In October 2006 the Food Standards Agency published detailed guidelines on nutrition for people over 75 years old (click here for original report).
 

FSA logo

Specifically, the agency advises that the provision of food to this group in care homes should meet general nutritional requirements that would apply to the adult population as a whole on the intake of fat, salt, fibre, sugar, minerals and vitamins, but that where intake levels among over-75s are known to be too high or too low, care homes should take action to make the necessary adjustments. 

Recommended targets are given by the agency for each of these categories. In the context of vitamin D, it suggests that older people in institutions may be deficient and that up to 10 micrograms of vitamin D supplement may therefore need to be provided daily.

Sample menus from the FSA

Sample breakfast, lunch and evening meal menus for care homes (click here) have been published by the FSA, together with recommended nutrient values to be derived from fats, carbohydrates, fibre, protein, vitamin D, foliate, iron, zinc, sodium, salt, potassium, magnesium and riboflavin. 

The menus make provision for five portions a day of fruit and vegetables to be offered to care home residents, as well as at least one serving per week of oily fish (salmon or sardines, for example).

Importantly, the FSA makes clear that the guidance is not intended for those who may have different nutritional requirements due to illness or disease and are under-nourished or at risk of under-nutrition (because of a poor appetite, for example).

 

 

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