An investigation of main meal preferences in nursing home residents
Nursing home residents are at high risk of undernutrition. Their nutritional status could possibly be improved by identifying and serving meals according to their preferences. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate basic sensory customization factors of most preferred main meals in nursing home residents. In total, 40 popular Danish meals from two hospital kitchens and one meals‐on‐wheels kitchen were chosen for the study. Thirty of the meals contained meat (pork, beef, mixed meat, chicken, and fish) and the rest were plant‐based. Twenty‐nine nursing home residents evaluated liking of appearance, flavor, and texture on a five‐point liking scale. The test was divided in eight tasting sessions, where the participants tested five food samples per session at 10.30–11.30 a.m. Prior to the tasting sessions, the participants were screened for nutritional risk and eating problems and level of appetite was tested on a five‐point category scale. The sensory meal preferences included meals containing fish, beef, and pork and could be related to meal familiarity and chewing and swallowing difficulties of old adults, which should be kept in mind when making further adjustments in the meal preparation before served the target group.