Commercial nutrition supplements will always have their place in residential aged care facilities to help promote optimal nutritional status in those residents who are managing very little variety in their diet and are unable to maintain their weight through food intake.
However, there are strategies your facility can implement to help control costs with no disadvantage to residents.
Nutrition supplement powders such as Sustagen Neutral, Advital, Proform and Ensure Powder are beneficial if residents have very little variety in their diet and need a boost in nutrients along with kilojoules and protein, however for those residents who merely need a boost in kilojoules and protein the addition of milk powder to their meals instead of a commercial supplement will be highly beneficial at a low cost.
As you can see from the summary below, milk powder is very comparable in protein and kilojoules to commercial supplement powders. The following is based on a 60g serve.
Add 1 tablespoon to breakfast cereals, milks, mashes vegetables, sauces/gravies, soups, custards, yoghurts, puddings. Try to aim for 1tbsp 3 times daily.
Butters, oils, cheese and cream are other products that are high in kilojoules that can be added to the resident’s meals to help encourage weight maintenance/gain.
Instead of relying on Sustagen, Ensure or another commercial supplement for those residents who need an energy and protein boost to their diet, it can be more cost effective for a facility to make their own drinks.
Mix all ingredients together with a barmix until smooth. Leave to settle as it is frothy once made. Serve cold.
Makes approximately 1.6L
Two Cal/ml supplements such as Resource 2.0, Two Cal and Novasource 2.0 remain beneficial for those residents who are unable to consume the volume of liquid required from other drinks to be of benefit.
Other strategies to boost the kilojoules and protein of a resident’s diet could include: