Building an Evidence Base for Enjoyable Dining

By / Posted on November 22nd, 2011

“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” -Ronald Reagan

Eating at a dinner table with friends and family is not only the quintessential portrait of Thanksgiving, but also an activity that can promote significant positive change.

In this month’s LeadingAge Magazine, the article, Enjoyable Dining: Can We Build an Evidence Base? , speaks volumes about how creating a dining environment that looks and feels more like home can have a tremendously positive impact on elders- boosting overall morale, without significant cost increases.

“We have had better intake. We’ve reduced the use of supplements. They are eating real food. Our meals are part of a concerted period when the residents are up and active, which then has a positive effect…We have less weight loss, and residents have fewer complaints about food service. They are better nourished, and there’s an increase in family involvement. And it doesn’t add to the cost, because residents are getting what they like. There is less waste.”

The article also highlighted recent research conducted by The Pioneer Network to develop great evidence-based food and dining standards for long-term care facilities. These best-practices contain sections that concentrate on the liberalization and honoring of choice when it comes to diet as related to diabetic and calorie controlled, low sodium, cardiac and altered-consistency diets. The new dining standards of practice can be found here.

Click here to read the full article.