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National Meal Guidelines – Landmark Document Close To Completion

August 26, 2016

Photo – Kathryn Dowling
The Wollongong Project Team includes Senior Professor Linda Tapsell, and pictured above (left to right) members of the Smart Foods Centre, Wollongong Team (W) and AMOWA Steering Committee (SC)- Associate Professor, Karen Charlton (W), Food Technologist, Duncan MacDonald, (SC), Dr Anne McMahon (W), Professor Peter Williams (W), SA Meals on Wheels Operations Manager, Julie Bonicci (SC), Project Leader and Associate Professor, Karen Walton (W), Dietitians Association of Australia Representative, Sharon Lawrence (SC) and Steering Group Chair, President AMOWA, Nelson Mathews (SC).


National Meal Guidelines
Landmark Document Close To Completion

Following very strong buy-in from the sector during the stakeholder consultation process that included leading experts on nutrition and grass roots providers, both the steering and project groups had a lot to weigh up and consider.

Project Steering Group Chair and AMOWA President, Nelson Mathews says, “Balancing the nutritional science, which tends to be prescriptive, and the practicalities of individual service’s resources, and the need for greater flexibility in relation to consumer choice, has been the biggest hurdle”

“This is shaping up to be a landmark document” said Nelson. “We feel we’re very close to releasing something the sector can be proud of”

The National Meal Guidelines will be released on the 10th of October on this site, with hard copies mailed to all providers in the following weeks. A launch to celebrate the release will take place in late October, early November.

National Meal Guidelines – A New Approach To Food

National Nutritional Guidelines have been recommended by various stakeholders involved in the home delivered meals sector for over a decade. We’re very excited to announce that AMOWA received a grant from the Australian Government for the purpose of developing National Meal Guidelines following a proposal submitted in October 2015. After an invited tender process a team for the Smart Foods Centre, University of Wollongong was chosen to undertake the project.

The Department of Social Services, Key Directions for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme paper, made the following recommendations as a result of the Home and Community Care (HACC) Meals Review (page 60):

  • Develop voluntary National Nutrition Guidelines for delivered and centre-based meals (based on existing state guidelines).
  • These guidelines will be developed from July 2015 to provide nationally consistent, practical advice to meal providers to support their existing efforts in enhancing the nutritional quality of meals and responding to nutrient requirements for frail aged clients in particular.

The change in terminology from ‘nutritional guidelines’ to ‘meals guidelines’ was recommended by AMOWA and agreed to by the federal government. It was thought that the term ‘nutritional’ was too restrictive and did not adequately encompass important factors such as packaging, texture, choice, appearance and quality, all vital in encouraging best practice and ensuring that consumers are more likely to eat the meals provided.

Stakeholder Engagement – Workshops, Surveys and Phone Interviews
There are three phases to stakeholder engagement. You may choose to engage in one, two or three of the phases.