Dairy Power: Why Fresh Milk and Dairy are Important in Aged Care

Published on April 19, 2024
Dairy Power: Why Fresh Milk and Dairy are Important in Aged Care

Dairy products are a cornerstone of a healthy diet, providing essential nutrients for people of all ages.  

However, milk and dairy products become especially important to maintaining the health and wellbeing of ageing bodies.  We take a closer look at the world of dairy in food service, exploring its importance for strong bones, healthy living, and safety for older aged care residents.  


Dairy: A Nutritional Powerhouse

Did you know dairy boasts over 10 essential nutrients?  

Dairy and milk products are incredibly nutrient-dense foods. A true powerhouse product, they supply energy and high-quality protein, along with a range of essential micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus, in an easily absorbed form.¹

From calcium for strong bones to protein for muscle growth, dairy plays a vital role in supporting our health. It contributes to healthy blood, nervous and immune systems, eyesight, and even energy levels. 


Calcium Rich for Strong Bones

Calcium is a key mineral for building and maintaining strong bones. 

Because our bodies can't produce calcium on their own, we rely on dietary sources like milk, cheese, and yoghurt to provide it for us.  

These dairy products are conveniently absorbed by the body and provide a significant portion of the daily calcium intake recommended for Australians.  For those older Australians in aged care, low calcium and protein intakes are a prolific challenge. Poor calcium intake, in particular, can lead to some serious health risks for elderly Australians.  


The Power of Dairy in Aged Care

As we age, our nutritional needs change.  

Studies have shown that increasing dairy intake in older adults living in residential care facilities can significantly reduce falls and fractures. 

A landmark study published in The BMJ found that providing additional milk, yoghurt, and cheese to residents led to a remarkable 33% decrease in all fractures, including a 46% reduction in hip fractures.² This research suggests that dairy can be just as effective as some medications in promoting bone health. 

With additional milk and dairy being touted as a potential public health gamechanger, many in the aged care sector are investigating how they can improve residents’ nutrition, without sacrificing quality.  


Food Fortification: Boosting Nutrition in Aged Care

Many aged care facilities use food fortification to ensure residents receive the nutrients they need. Milk, a natural source of protein, calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals, plays an important role in this process. 

Fortified milk can be easily incorporated into meals and snacks, offering an energy boost and improved overall dietary intake. Many leading suppliers including Australian-owned Bega, are constantly innovating to provide customers with the best solution to their dairy fortification questions.  

By investing in fortified dairy products such as whole milk powder and cooking cream, aged care facilities can go above and beyond to ensure residents get the nutrition they need delivered in a variety of delicious recipes. 


Quality Dairy Makes a Difference

Quality dairy products are a valuable addition to any diet and are especially vital in the promotion of healthy ageing.  

In food service settings, incorporating dairy strategically can ensure people of all ages receive the vital nutrients they need to live healthy lives.  

Through our partnership with Bega, we help members ensure that aged care residents have access to the best quality Australian-made and manufactured dairy and milk products, all at the most competitive prices. Find out how our partnership with Bega can transform the way your aged care facility cares for residents' health every day.  

Source: Procurement Australia


1 Górska-Warsewicz H, Rejman K, Laskowski W, Czeczotko M. (2019) ‘Milk and Dairy Products and Their Nutritional Contribution to the Average Polish Diet’, Nutrients, 1 (11).  

2 The BMJ (2021),Effect of dietary sources of calcium and protein on hip fractures and falls in older adults in residential care: cluster randomised controlled trial’  

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