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HPB also launches Healthier Recipes and Healthier Catering Menu for the elderly to ensure that well-balanced meals are now within easy reach

Singapore, 24 November 2012: Good nutrition in one’s golden years is imperative in order to stay fit and healthy. As the elderly have unique nutritional requirements, HPB has today launched Dietary Guidelines for Older Adults (aged over 50years).

2. According to HPB’s 2010 National Nutrition Survey, only one in four senior citizens consume the recommended daily serving of vegetables, one in four have protein intake below the recommended level while over half have inadequate intakes of calcium. However, over half also have intakes of fat and saturated fat higher than the recommended levels.

3. The new set of dietary guidelines aims to enhance the nutrition intake of the seniors. Broadly, the guidelines embrace the following principles:
- Consume quality, nutrient dense foods over quantity as seniors are less active
- Choose soft foods which are easier to swallow
- Consume calcium-fortified or rich foods due to the loss of bone calcium
- Drink more fluids to counter constipation

4. To help ensure local senior citizens have easy access to healthy and nutritious food which meets the dietary guidelines and is affordable, HPB has also introduced a healthier series of Simple, Tasty, Affordable Recipes (STAR) and a healthier catering menu for the community. 

5. The set of five recipes have been especially developed with seniors in mind. They are lower in calories, salt, high in fibre and whole grains, and use healthier oils. Yet, the recipes do not compromise on taste and are affordable. The one-dish meal recipes which can serve a family of four people, are easy to prepare and will cost the seniors or their caregivers less than $5 for each of the following dishes: mee sua with shredded chicken, curried rice, fried noodles, fried brown rice bee hoon with vegetables, and brown rice porridge.

6. The healthier catering menu has been developed for use at senior-centric community events. The menu comprises a selection of senior-friendly dishes which are prepared using healthier ingredients. It contains less saturated fat and salt but more fibre and the dishes are easier to chew as they use soft vegetables such as cabbage and other soft sources of protein and calcium such as bean curd.

7. Said David Ong, MP for Bukit Batok “Providing healthier food choices for residents at community events is very important. I am delighted that HPB has worked to develop a healthier catering menu for community events as it will enable our residents to have healthier food choices. To encourage healthy eating in the constituency, I am pleased that a healthier cooking interest group has been set up in Bukit Batok. The volunteers organise regular healthier cooking demonstrations and supermarket trails for the seniors and caregivers with the aim to drive home the message that healthier food can be affordable and easy to prepare.”

8. Said Ang Hak Seng, CEO, Health Promotion Board “As we age, our bodies change and metabolism slows. We are not required to consume as many calories as we used to, which makes it challenging to consume sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals. It is therefore important for seniors to eat a diet of high nutritional quality that includes foods with more protein, vitamins and minerals but fewer calories. As older adults may have difficulty chewing, they often tend to consume more of foods such as rice, noodles and breads as these foods are soft and fill them up. What is largely lacking in their diet are vegetables and protein-rich foods like meat. To ensure Singapore’s seniors have easy access to a well balanced diet which is affordable, we have introduced this set of healthier recipes.” 

9. Considered a Health Promoting hub, the Bukit Batok Constituency is home to health promoting touch points such as health promoting corners at Bukit Batok Community Club, Zone 2 Resident’s Committee (RC) Corner, a healthier coffee shop and a walking trail. Regular health promoting activities co-organised by the Community Club, Resident’s Committee and HPB include workshops and talks on nutrition, management of chronic diseases, smoking control, physical activity, basic health screening on blood pressure and BMI.

10. HPB will be working with all constituencies to introduce the set of healthier recipes to their senior residents and caregivers and intends to promote the healthier menu to caterers over the coming festive season.

Issued by Health Promotion Board

Annex 1 Factsheet on Dietary Guidelines
Annex 2 Consumption Trends of Vegetables, Proteins, Fat, Saturated Fat and Calcium