The American Dietetic Association recommends that long-term care facilities individualize residents’ diets to maximize meal intake of residents who are at nutritional risk. Residents who require thickened beverages (nectar or honey consistency) are at risk for inadequate overall fluid intake, placing them also at risk for inadequate dairy intake as liquid milk is the most common menu option to provide the required 2-3 dairy servings per day. The standard milk serving is 8 ounces which represents significant waste for residents who prefer or can only tolerate a smaller amount. Providing a smaller serving of thickened milk can help to improve residents’ tolerance and improve adherence to honoring residents’ preferences.
In many cases, for residents on nectar or honey thick liquids, a smaller serving of a high quality thickened milk will improve dairy intake, minimize struggles over dietary compliance, and improve residents’ quality of life. Dairy and Calcium requirements can be met with three 4 oz servings of Café Thickened Dairy in combination with other dairy equivalents such as thickened ice cream, pudding, made with milk, drained and blended cottage cheese. With appropriate assessment and monitoring by a registered dietitian, a change from an 8 oz serving to a 4 oz serving of thickened milk is appropriate for long-term care residents who require thickened liquids.