Development of the Australian National Meal Guidelines for home-delivered and centre-based meal programs for older adults

Publication Name

Health Promotion Journal of Australia


Issue addressed: This research aimed to develop and disseminate National Meal Guidelines for Australian home-delivered and centre-based meal programs. Methods: Development was led by a project group of dietitians and a steering group of representatives from the Australian Meals on Wheels Association. The process framework included three phases: (1) Review of existing standards and guidelines and systematic literature review (SLR), (2) stakeholder consultation conducted via six workshops, across six states (N = 212) and surveys with service providers, health professionals (N = 289) and customers (N = 337) and (3) review of the draft guidelines by stakeholders. Results: The final guidelines address: nutritional needs of older adults; meal and menu planning including nutrient requirements for meal components; presentation and meal enjoyment; special diets; and enhancing the meal service. Conclusion: These guidelines provide consistent guidance to services providing home-delivered and centre-based meal programs. Further evaluation of their uptake and impact on service practices and customer nutrition and satisfaction is required. So what?: The National Meal Guidelines provide nationally consistent, evidence-based guidance on menu planning and nutritional quality of meals to services providing home-delivered and centre-based meal programs. The guideline development framework outlined here also provides a process for future food service guideline development.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Sponsor

Department of Health, Australian Government



Link to publisher version (DOI)