top of page

Mandatory Aged Care Menu & Mealtime Quality Assessments are coming

Spring is here! If you have not created a Spring menu yet or had it reviewed, don’t worry. We can help you develop a nutritionally sound menu that is IDDSI compliant as well!

Our Dietitians are trusted in menu development and can work with you to create a brand-new menu or update your menu to meet requirements. Here’s Everything you Need to Know on Aged Care Menu Assessments

Every single menu for every season, every year requires Dietitian input.

Did you know that all menus going forward require Dietitian input?

Dietitians ensure that there is adequate choice for residents (eg. hot meals offered at least twice per day) and that the key nutrients in Aged Care (calcium, protein, fibre, iron and energy) are included. In Aged Care, 100% (or majority) of a resident’s intake is provided by the Aged Care home, so Dietitians ensure the menus are developed to provide adequate amounts of each food group as per the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating for the resident’s age group.

Get the experts in this space onboard to assist you with all your menus!

What are your options for menu reviews by a Dietitian?

There are 2 options: a Desktop Menu Review or an onsite Menu & Mealtime Quality Assessment.

Desktop Menu Review

This is a more affordable and quicker review.

While it is a ‘desktop’ virtual review, it is still a thorough review by an Accredited Practising Dietitian to ensure your organisation is meeting requirements. Our team will work with you on recommendations, making changes to your menu, ensuring your menu is nutritionally compliant and IDDSI appropriate. We will provide you with your updated menus, a thorough Menu Assessment Report and Certificate of Nutritional Compliance.

Menu & Mealtime Quality Assessment

This is The Gold Standard, onsite assessment and the Dietitian RECOMMENDED option.

It has been developed by Dietitians Australia for the exclusive use by Accredited Practising Dietitians, to provide your Aged Care home with an expert assessment and recommendations for your homes’ residents’ nutrition care, menu and mealtime experience. This assessment uses the Aged Care Quality Standards as the framework.

What does it involve?

This includes an on-site visit by an OSCAR Care Group Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) to your Residential Aged Care home, interviews with relevant staff, an assessment of the menu, observations of the meal service, weighing of sample meal components and a review of documentation (for example, policies and procedures) relevant to food and nutrition care. On completion of the assessment, you will receive a written report with expert feedback on:

  • The nutritional value of the menu for most diet types, including texture modified diets.

  • The mealtime experience, aiming for best practice that provides an environment that encourages eating.

  • Key recommendations and a corrective action plan, to use in continuous improvement plans specific to the menu, meals, mealtime environment and nutrition care.

How does it benefit your homes’ residents?

  • Satisfaction with food provided, which plays an important role in maintaining quality of life.

  • A tasty, nutritious diet tailored to the unique needs of older Australians, which reduces the risk of malnutrition, unplanned weight loss, dehydration, pressure injuries/wounds, falls,

  • A relaxing mealtime environment, which helps to encourage eating for overall good health and wellbeing.

How does a Menu & Mealtime Quality Assessment benefit your home?

Cost savings using a food-first approach to malnutrition, instead of a reliance on commercial supplements. Staff pride and satisfaction with a food service and mealtime environment that meets the needs of residents. A workforce that is more aware and skilled to meet the unique nutritional needs of residents. A menu with food offerings that support the Accreditation and Quality Standards.

As part of this assessment, OSCAR Care Group Dietitians will provide you with a corrective action plan, numbered according to priority for your organisation to focus on high priority items first. This plan is based on the Aged Care Quality Standards.

Did you know that Annual Onsite Menu & Mealtime Quality Assessments are moving to be made mandatory in Aged Care?

You may have only had desktop menu reviews. Well, this is changing. Going forward, each Aged Care Home requires an onsite Menu & Mealtime Quality Assessment to be conducted by an Accredited Practising Dietitian every year.

Are you a large organisation that has 1 menu for all your sites? This will no longer be acceptable and will not meet standards. Our residents deserve more!

Every single site within your organisation will require 1 onsite Menu & Mealtime Quality Assessment every year. One menu for all sites is completely inadequate for several reasons, with the main reason not factoring in personalised residents’ choice at the individual site level.

For example

If you have 1 group menu for your 45 sites across your organisation, this menu will not take into account 1 home in particular where majority of the residents are of a Greek background with a preference for Greek-style food, and another home where many residents are of Indian background with a preference for more options of Indian-style food.

According to Aged Care Quality Standards, Standard 2: Residents and their families are to be advised of improvements to the menu and mealtime experience based on feedback they provided. Every menu needs to factor in residents’ feedback, preferences and choice. Our Dietitians can help you with this through this Annual Onsite Menu & Mealtime Quality Assessment.

Reduce resident and family complaints in aged care

25% of complaints in Aged Care are related to food and nutrition. Due to this Onesite Menu Assessment being more in-depth and personalised to each home, it will help reduce these complaints!

Use some of that additional $10 per day per resident you receive for food and nutrition towards menus reviews, Dietitians support and Speech Pathology assessments.

Top Menu Recommendations from our Aged Care Lead Dietitian:

  1. Have your Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter Menus reviewed before each season begins every year. This can be a desktop review by our wonderful team of OSCAR Care Group Dietitians.

  2. Pick one of the above to be your Annual Onsite Menu Assessment and have one of our superstar Dietitians come onsite and help you with the most thorough Menu & Mealtime Assessment.

So, what are you waiting for?

Your homes’ residents and staff deserve more, book this onsite assessment in now! Reach out now via email: dietitian@oscarcaregroup.com.au or 1300 467 227 For more information or personalised support, speak with your Accredited Practising Dietitian - Like us!


Kiarra Martindale, Accredited Practising Dietitian, BBiomedSc, MDiet, Lead Dietitian (APD) & Allied Health Manager for OSCAR Care Group

Kiarra Martindale is a Gut Health, IBS and FODMAP-trained Dietitian. She is a nationally recognised Aged Care Dietitian, Sports Dietitian, Anthropometrist, Nutritionist and Presenter.


bottom of page