Older patients often have less appetite, which can lead to malnutrition. The consequences of malnutrition can be very serious: slower recovery of illness and operations, less disease resistance and an increased risk of complications. Eating enough protein can prevent many problems. Cater with Care® developed a varied range of tasty and protein-enriched foods to combat malnutrition and investigated the effect.
A unique consortium of healthcare and knowledge institutions and companies worked together in Cater with Care®. The wishes and needs of the elderly, patients and care professionals were central. Data have been collected on nutritional needs and on the causes of malnutrition. Based on this, protein-enriched food products and a protein-rich daily menu have been developed. The effect study examined the effect of the protein-rich daily menu on nutritional intake, quality of life and nutritional status.
The results are published in the thesis 'Cater with Care: Impact of protein-enriched foods and drinks for elderly people'. The results show that protein-enriched products, as a replacement for conventional products on the hospital's menu, help to achieve the recommended protein intake in the elderly and patients. The developed products are now on the menu in more than fifty hospitals in the Netherlands. People can also continue to use the products at home because they are available through supermarkets and online.