About improving food and nutrition in aged care

We are increasing accountability, capability and transparency among aged care providers to improve food and nutrition in aged care. This will support a better quality of life for older people accessing aged care services.

About food and nutrition in aged care

Many people accessing aged care depend on their aged care provider to supply their meals.

Providers have a responsibility to ensure these meals meet the needs and preferences of older people in terms of taste, quality and nutrition.

We expect residential aged care providers to: 

  • talk to older people and their families about the food they eat 
  • give choices about meal types and times
  • cook nutritious and appetising meals (including for texture modified diets)
  • support older people to consume as much food and drink as they want. 

Find out more about how we are building providers capability to improve food and nutrition in aged care

Why it’s important 

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety's final report identified food and nutrition as one area for urgent review. 

Nutritious food is a basic human right. Food, drink and the dining experience have a big impact on a person’s health and quality of life. 

Nutritional needs change throughout people’s lives. Older people: 

  • need higher levels of some critical nutrients, such as protein and calcium 
  • can experience changes to their taste, smell, appetite and ability to eat certain foods, which can affect their food intake. 

Without intervention and support, these factors can lead to malnutrition. 

What providers need to do

All residential aged care providers:

Support is available to help meet these requirements.

All aged care providers – including National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program services and Multi-Purpose Services – can access free education and training.

Opportunities are currently available to improve:

  • the skills of cooking staff
  • the food provided to older people receiving their care.  

Resources

For more information see our food and nutrition resources.

Contact

Food, Nutrition and Dining Hotline

Call the Food, Nutrition and Dining Hotline if you have questions, concerns or complaints about your food, nutrition and dining experience in aged care. The hotline is run by the the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
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