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Table 1 Description of food and drink provision, and changes

From: Health, wellbeing and nutritional status of older people living in UK care homes: an exploratory evaluation of changes in food and drink provision

  Before the intervention and in the control homes After the intervention
Breakfast menu Choice of porridge, cereal, one type of fruit, fruit juice, toast and marmalade Choice of cooked breakfast, selection of fruit and fruit juices, cereal and porridge, toast and marmalade
Lunch menu Choice of two different main courses and two desserts Choice of at least three main courses (including a vegetarian option), soup and salad available, selection of hot and cold desserts, fruit juice
Evening meal menu Choice of two cold options for main course and two desserts Choice of soup, salad, hot option, selection of sandwiches, selection of desserts
Timing of choices In some homes residents made their lunch choices the day before, others at meal time. Choice made at the meal time, residents can change their minds even after being given a meal and try something else.
Display of food No food displayed Cold food displayed as a buffet at the side of the dining-room, hot options can be viewed in a bain-marie
Environment Crowded dining-room, residents use flowery or patterned crockery and table mats Fewer tables in dining-room, less crowded, refurbished dining-room, tablecloths and flowers on the table, white crockery with side plates for vegetables
Timing of meals Meals at set times (usually 9 am, 12.30 noon and 4:30 pm), single sitting Dining facilities open for at least one and a half hours at all meal times, several sittings of residents
Drinks Drinks trolley (tea, coffee and evening horlicks) taken round home midmorning, midafternoon and evening Drinks machines available at all times (hot water for tea, black coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate, soup) for residents and visitors to use, residents offered drinks by staff midmorning, midafternoon and evening
Visitors Visitors eat at some of the homes on rare occasions Visitors are welcome to join residents for any meal for a fee
Snacks Biscuits offered with drinks trolley Selection of biscuits, cakes, savoury nibbles and fresh fruit on display, sandwiches and yoghurts available from a cooler in dining room, all available for self-service at any time