The Inside Scoop on Informed Choice: A Step-by-Step Guide for Personalizing Diets in Long-Term Care

Dining Services: Meet Regulatory Guidelines and Earn CEUs!

The Inside Scoop on Informed Choice wins 2019 Mature Media AwardThe Inside Scoop on Informed Choice
A Step-by-Step Guide for Personalizing Diets in Long-Term Care
By Diane Hall, NHA, RD, LDN

Winner of the 2019 Mature Media Merit Award!

A person’s right to express personal food preferences and make dietary choices is an important facet of person-centered care. This pragmatic guidebook for administrators, nurses, food service managers, and dietitians demonstrates step by step how to honor residents’ food choices while also meeting regulatory requirements and reducing liability.



For use by nursing home and assisted living facilities to meet new state and federal requirements to support choice, this guidebook will clarify the process of honoring choices and at the same time keeping people as safe as possible. To accomplish that goal, this book:

  • Provides a logical sequence of documentation based on Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) guidelines by first recording a resident’s diet preferences, social routines, preferred eating times and places, special physical needs, and favorite foods
  • Walks you through the creation of a personalized care plan based on the concept of informed choice
  • Includes cutting-edge forms for providing food choices to residents following the concepts of self-directed dining
  • Offers role play scripts to aid in staff training


Told in a unique storytelling format, this engaging and user-friendly resource debunks common myths and misinformation about special diets, restricted diets, doctors’ orders, and federal regulations. It shows you just how to satisfy a resident’s right to enjoy his or her favorite foods, preferred mealtimes, and customary eating habits, while also keeping the person safe. Time-saving tools based on federal guidelines and regulations for nursing homes help to streamline the individualization of care plans and include:

Sample of materials from the book

  • Sample forms and guidelines
  • Assessment tools, surveys, quizzes, and educational activities
  • QAPI-based dining solutions
  • Tips sheets for specialized diets





Image of pages from the book

Role playing is an often-used training method to help retain information and keep people engaged while learning. The Inside Scoop on Informed Choice is filled with scripts throughout that provide role playing opportunities to help staff learn this crucial information in a fun way. The scripts are a fictional account of a home’s change to self-directed dining. They are designed to take staff through the process from start to finish. The characters are composites based on real people and situations.




Download iconTip Sheets and Risks & Benefits for

  • Diabetic Diet
  • Low-Sodium Diet
  • Cardiac Diet
  • Fluid-Restricted Diet
  • Altered Consistency Diet and Tips to Lessen Your Risk of Choking
  • Tube Feeding

Educational Tools

  • How to Successfully Interview Residents to Get to Know Them and What Matters Most to Them: Person-Centered Care
  • How to Run an Effective Learning Circle: QAPI Analysis
  • Declaration of Dining Independence
  • Letter from Medical Director Informing Physicians about Person-Directed Dining
  • Dining Preferences Form
  • Informed Choice Made Easy
  • Creating a Dining Care Plan for Restricted Diets, Step by Step
  • Resident Survey: Dining Satisfaction
  • Resident Survey: Dining Services
  • Checklist for Dining Regulations


Each section of the book includes a Learning Center with educational activities and mini-quizzes that prepare you for a quiz to qualify for continuing education units (CEUs).

To earn CEUs, visit BSN Solutions and follow the instructions (you will also receive access to training videos on making informed choice happen in your community for free).