Nutritional analysis of a long-term care menu before and after an increase in the raw food cost allowance
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PURPOSE: Regular, nontherapeutic menus were compared before and after an increase in the Ontario long-term care (LTC) raw food cost allowance (RFCA). The purpose was to determine whether any significant nutritional differences existed between the old and new menus and whether they met target values for adequacy, according to the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) nutrient recommendations or other target values relevant to Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care standards.
METHODS: A southeastern Ontario LTC facility fall/winter 2006/2007 menu and fall/winter 2007/2008 menu were used for nutrient analysis with ESHA Food Processor SQL 10.1.0. Each menu was compared with target values based on Canada’s Food Guide (CFG) for 1992 and 2007, and with DRI nutrient recommendations.
RESULTS: The 2007/2008 menu provided significantly more servings of vegetables and fruit, meeting the 2007 CFG recommendations, and significantly greater amounts of some nutrients (e.g., vitamin C, protein, magnesium, potassium, fibre, and total water). It also came closer to meeting DRI target recommendations.
CONCLUSIONS: While some improvements have been made to the menu in this specific facility, further improvements, possibly through supplementation, must be made to ensure nutritional adequacy for all residents.