NHAW logo.pngNutrition and Hydration Week takes place from 13 March to 19 March 2023. The week aims to promote the importance of good nutrition and hydration.

There are activities planned for this week including competitions, challenges, and special menus for patients and special promotions in our restaurants and cafes. This week has been organised by your catering, dietetic and Speech Therapy teams.

There is a nutrition and hydration challenge. There is a prize for the best ward in each division and one for staff. These are three healthy eating challenges for across the week.

We have designed a theme for each day. There is supporting information and posters for staff to be able to do activities with patients and promote the theme.

All the menus across the trust have been developed by the catering teams, dietitians and SALT collaborating with staff and patients.

Menus are designed, to meet strict government guidelines and to ensure that all patients nutritional needs such as energy, protein vitamin and mineral requirements are meet. The menu is designed that patients’ energy and protein requirements are provided by the three meals and two to three courses provided at each meal. The portion sizes provided are calculated within a menu of three meals and several courses per meal. Sometimes patients may feel hungry and there can be many reasons for this.

Please encourage patients to have all the meals breakfast, lunch, and evening meal and all the courses on offer soup, mains, and pudding/fruit. There are further suggestions on how to manage hunger on the poster/patient leaflet provided.

All the menus across the trust are being reviewed, and patient and staff feedback regarding the menus is welcomed. Please feel free to contact your local catering team or Emma Hyland emma.hyland@merseycare.nhs.uk Catering dietitian with any feedback.

The catering team is always happy to come to any community meeting or forums to discuss any catering issues or menus.

Nutrition and hydration week is always celebrated with a tea party. The lunch service will be in the form of an afternoon tea with sandwiches, buffet items, scones and cake. Afternoon tea is a social occasion so consider how you can encourage patients to join together and enjoy the afternoon tea provided. Please consider how you could decorate your ward. We have provided some information on ordering some items to serve your afternoon tea such as napkins and table clothes. Please take a picture of your ward decorated for the tea. There is a prize for the best decorated ward in each division. Members of the executive team are joining patients and staff for the tea.

We have included a quiz for patient and staff to try.

We have also included some recipes that patients may like to try and then bring to their afternoon tea as part of the celebrations.

Our restaurants and cafes are also having a promotional afternoon tea so you may want to visit the restaurants and cafes to enjoy your own tea.

Any questions or queries please contact your local catering team or Emma Hyland emma.hyland@merseycare.nhs.uk Catering dietitian.

As part of Nutrition and Hydration Week, National Swallowing Awareness Day takes place on Wednesday, 15 March 2023 which aims to raise awareness of dysphagia.

Dysphagia is a swallowing problem and is found across all our service user groups and people with learning disabilities, dementia, stroke, brain injuries and mental health problems are all at increased risk of developing swallowing problems. To raise awareness of the condition we’ve produced a short animation with our speech and language therapists.

Our Speech and Language Therapists (SALT), work with people with dysphagia (eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties). These difficulties can be due to a number of reasons, such as neurological conditions, head and neck cancer, cardiopulmonary disorders and more.

During Swallowing Awareness Day our Speech and Language Therapists want to highlight some of the feedback Liverpool and South Sefton Adult Speech and Language Therapy have recently received:

  • This is a text from a patient’s family member after SALT helped escalate concerns regarding a patient’s swallow and overall health to GP. 'Just wanted to let you know Dad went into hospital yesterday. He has reacted well to interventions. I can’t thank you enough for your care and understanding. Best wishes'
  • Whilst patients are on our waiting list, we send them written swallow advice. One patient reported that he found the swallow advice very useful and has noticed an improvement to his swallow already.
  • We also received a verbal compliment from a patient on discharge who said 'Thank you for the service you have provided - it has been outstanding from start to finish. We are very grateful for all you have done'

Take a look at the swallowing awareness booklet and activity booklet produced by the SALT at Rowan View. The booklets have been shared with the wards.

Water makes up two thirds of our body. It is vital we drink enough fluid to maintain a healthy balance. Many people get dehydrated by not drinking enough fluids or by not losing fluids and not replacing them when we have vomiting, diarrhoea or sweating more in hot weather or when ill.

Good hydration prevents

The aim to is to have six to eight mugs of fluids per day

The best choice is water, fruit slices or no added sugar cordial can be added. Other healthier drink choices include:

  • unsweetened tea, coffee, and herbal infusions
  • lower-fat milks
  • unsweetened 100% fruit or vegetable juices and smoothies - keep to one small glass (150ml) per day.

Care needs to be taken with caffeinated drinks such as cola and energy drinks or lots of coffee. Having to much caffeine can cause poor sleep, anxiety, heart palpitations and gut problems in some people.

We have included a fluid tracker for patients and a team one for staff. We have also included a pee chart for patients to check if they are getting enough fluids.

Consuming adequate fluids is one of our challenges for nutrition and hydration week so encourage patients to complete it.


Eating more fruit and vegetables is important for everyone’s health.

There is more information available at this link.

At the patient’s tea service dishes have been chosen to promote increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables.

There are some recipes attached which you may want to prepare with patients that are high in fruit and vegetables. We have also included a 5 a day bingo which encourages a variety of fruit and vegetables.

In our restaurants and cafes there are also variety of fruit and vegetable packed dishes you to enjoy.

Protected mealtimes are important as they ensure that patients have an uninterrupted, supported enjoyable experience at their meals. Some wards encourage relatives to support patients eating and drinking at mealtimes. The timing of the protected mealtime will vary from ward to ward. Food service should be no longer than 30minutes because the food may not maintain a safe temperature for longer than this. Only staff serving the food should be in the serving area during a meal service as other staff in the serving area is disruptive for patients.

Please review the protected mealtime arrangements on your ward.

We have attached an easy read version of a protected mealtime poster which of benefit in some wards.

Any questions or queries please contact your local catering team or Emma Hyland emma.hyland@merseycare.nhs.uk Catering dietitian.