Cultural Consideration in Nutrition
Do we consider culture when feeding our residents who are receiving care? We teach about correctly identifying the resident and checking for allergies. We teach to calculate the percentage of food eaten. We take into consideration special diets such as sodium restrictions and diabetics. All of these things are important to consider but have we thought about cultural preferences.
The other day, I observed a resident from another culture eat very little. It was documented and discussed but I pondered the idea that the resident had probably not eaten meat and potatoes in her life prior to receiving care.
We as health professionals must consider providing food that the patient is accustomed to. MyPlate is designed with the American diet in mind. Most cultures do no include protein, starches, fruits and vegetables. This is an American way of eating.
Let’s begin by discussing some options in meals for our elderly. Not all elderly has had an American diet throughout their life. Let’s honor and respect this time in their life and give them options in their meals too!