Long-Term Care

Food intake studies

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, February 23, 2012

The physician or dietitian may request food intake studies for residents who are not eating, losing weight, at risk of malnutrition, etc. The resident’s food intake is accurately monitored and documented for a period of time, usually three days. The dietitian will analyze the completed information for nutritional adequacy and number of calories consumed. He or she will plan a diet to meet the resident’s special medical needs and may instruct the dietary department to adjust the resident’s menu, if needed. The dietitian will also make recommendations for adjusting the resident’s diet and nutritional plan of care. When completing a food intake study:

  • Notify family members so food they bring in to the facility can be documented
  • Weigh or measure each food item, if that is your facility’s policy
  • Accurately record the resident’s intake of each food item after meals
  • Promptly inform the physician of the dietitian’s recommendations once the study has been completed and reviewed

Completing a food intake or calorie count study requires a team effort, good communication, and very accurate documentation.

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The Long-Term Care Nursing Desk Reference, Second Edition, by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

Most Popular