Care home COVID-19 dietary advice

Care home residents that have COVID-19 will need extra support with nutrition and hydration, both during and after the illness.
Nutrition plays a very important role in how the body reacts to and recovers from COVID-19. The impact on nutritional intake will vary depending on severity of symptoms; some may be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and some may have more severe symptoms.

Many people are experiencing changes in taste and smell during and after COVID-19 which can be a reduced sense of taste or smell, or maybe a metallic or salty taste. Some residents may be experiencing shortness of breath, or extreme tiredness and muscle weakness, and so will be struggling to eat as much as normal. Loss of appetite can also be a common symptom and alongside feeling full more quickly may decrease the amount your resident is eating.

Our eating well and building yourself up after COVID-19 leaflet (PDF, 644 KB) provides lots of useful information and top tips for care home staff supporting residents suffering from COVID-19.

Malnutrition screening

It is recommended that residents are screened monthly for malnutrition risk using the malnutrition universal screening tool, also known as MUST, so malnutrition can be identified and then treated. We know that a third of care home residents are at risk of malnutrition, and that the elderly and malnourished are two groups that have worse outcomes and higher mortality from COVID-19.

Online training

The care home support dietitians have produced a free resource pack and online training on identifying and treating malnutrition in care homes. If you would like to access this training please email

COVID-19 nutritional care for care homes video

This short video, created by our care home support dietitians, provides nutritional information on managing residents who have, or are recovering from, COVID-19.

The following leaflets provide more information on the 1,2,3 approach referred to within the nutritional care for care homes COVID-19 video:

The links referred to in the video are available below: