Eggs can offer an ideal ‘food first’ opportunity to increase protein intake and prevent muscle decline in older people, says a new paper published in the journal Public Health Nutrition. This follows an investigation carried by a Bournemouth University team, part-funded by the British Egg Industry Council.
Although eggs are considered a beneficial food for older people as they are rich in nutrients and a high quality source of protein, UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) data reveals that the current consumption of eggs and egg dishes among older people is only 2% of daily total energy intake and only 3% of average daily protein intake.
Katherine Appleton, one of the authors of the paper, says “Our results suggest that by providing simple egg recipe inspiration
and helping to make eggs more appetising to eat, their consumption could be increased.”
So how can you make eggs more appealing to care home residents? The good news is that runny eggs are back on the menu following an announcement by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) saying that vulnerable groups can now eat them or even raw eggs, provided they carry the British Lion mark. As Neel Radia, former chairman of NACC says “The re-introduction of runny eggs in care homes for the first time in decades, as long as they are produced to British Lion standards, is fantastic news. Everyone loves a dippy egg.”
The British Lion Code of Practice means that eggs are produced under stringent measures such as vaccinating hens against salmonella, complete traceability of hens, eggs and feed and increased hygiene controls.
Make sure that you order British Lion eggs and check the eggs on arrival. The British Lion mark should be both on the outer case and on the eggs. Explain to staff and residents why British Lion eggs are being served and add the British Lion mark to menus.
According to British Lion eggs, in addition to containing high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, there are other nutrients in eggs that may benefit the health of older people. These include vitamin D, B vitamins, selenium, iodine and choline. The vitamin D content of eggs is important for older people as it can help to avoid sarcopenia (muscle loss with aging).
A British Lion eggs spokesperson points out that the familiarity of eggs can be helpful for people with dementia who may be more able to recognise dishes which have associations with their past. For those with dysphagia (swallowing problems), soft textured foods such as scrambled eggs can be appropriate.
Martin McKee, NACC Care Chef of the Year, who works at The Hawthorns, Aldridge, Walsall, has created five cookery videos demonstrating how eggs can inspire care home menus. They have been developed to meet the nutritional needs of residents ranging from under-nourishment, dementia or dysphagia.
– Salmon and broccoli stuffed pepper with baked egg
– Smoked bacon, scrambled egg and potato waffles
– Spinach, ricotta and cherry tomato frittata
– Chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream
All four recipes can be found at www.stiritupmagazine.co.uk/recipes
Country Range eggs have the Lion mark providing quality and safety reassurances. All our eggs were laid in the UK and are fully traceable.
In addition to the fantastic recipes created by Martin, there are also hundreds of recipes available to inspire your menus at www.countryrange.co.uk/recipes
– Country Range Free Range Medium Eggs
– Pack sizes: 5 dozen & 15 dozen
• Brightly coloured dishes or those that contrast with the plate can be more obvious for people with dementia and encourage appetite
• Ideas for finger foods featuring eggs include hard boiled eggs, stuffed eggs, homemade scotch eggs, Spanish omelette cut into cubes, mini omelette wraps, egg mayonnaise on crackers or bread and mini quiches
• Ideas for soft textured foods include soft omelette, smooth quiche filling, scrambled egg, sweet or savoury baked egg custard (can be made with fortified milk), soft baked egg, smooth no-bake cheesecake filling, traditionally made tiramisu (well soaked sponge fingers)
Source: British Egg Information Service
For further information
“Eggs are an essential ingredient in every kitchen and it is brilliant that we can now serve them runny as long as they meet British Lion standards. The recipes I’ve created are easy to replicate and have been designed to make the most of the nutritional benefits of eggs, including key vitamins and minerals, as well as providing an abundance of protein which is vital for care home residents’ diets.”