Waikato Nutrition Seminars
Sponsored by NZ Association of Gerontology (Waikato), NZ Nutrition Foundation and Waikato District Health Board
Despite the cold, wet winter’s day, over 150 members and older people attended a free community seminar on 21 July, on “What you eat makes a Difference.” Kaye Dennison and Niki Russell (both dietitians) kept the folks interested with their cooking demonstration, recipe tasting, and answers to the questions: When should we review what we eat? What food should we eat as we get older – and why?, and Can we afford to eat well with the current food prices? We were delighted with the lively interest and the range of people in the audience, including a good number of men, the young-old, and many with walkers. Attendees were able to take home a shopping guide to eating well for a week, several recipes, and information about ready-to-eat products to enhance home cooking.
Later in the afternoon, a three hour seminar on “Nutrition and the older person: Meals do matter” was presented for aged care professionals who work with people in their later years. Topics included: The dining environment in NZ rest homes (Julian Jensen, NZ Nutrition Foundation), Combating malnutrition through professional collaboration (Kaye Dennison, Waitemata DHB), The latest food and nutrition guidelines for older people (Carol Wham, Massey), and Is vitamin D the new wonder nutrient (Pamela Von Hurst, Massey). The topics provided insights into current research and stimulated a lively discussion about current trends. The occasion also provided an invaluable opportunity to network for people from various backgrounds and places of work.
This is the second time that Waikato has co-sponsored a Nutrition seminar, and we would highly recommend that other regions consider hosting such an event.