Nutrition and Hydration Week, 11th – 17th March 2024

March 19, 2024

Every year, people across the country organise initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of healthy eating and drinking for Nutrition & Hydration Week, a national campaign which has been running since 2012.

Throughout this nationwide initiative, HILS raise awareness about the role food and drink play in preserving our health and wellbeing. It’s hard to believe that over 10% of people over the age of 65 in the UK are affected by, or at risk of, malnutrition. That amounts to over 1 million older people. So, throughout the week we were excited to learn all about what keeps our bodies healthy and happy. Read on to find out what we got up to.

Making hydration easier for our meals on wheels clients

HILS’ Meals Service helps to combat malnutrition and dehydration by delivering a range of hot, nutritious meals that cater for a variety of health and nutritional needs. During delivery, our Community Team Members carry out a caring wellbeing check and can offer the client a glass of water to help encourage them to drink. To make this easier, our West Sussex and Hampshire teams have partnered with Southern Water to introduce a new water bottle initiative to promote hydration among older and disabled adults. Throughout the week, HILS supplied around 250 Southern Water biodegradable drinking bottles made from recycled materials to meals on wheels clients.

close up view of multiple clear water bottles with blue caps

Andy Knight, head of meals South, said, “We were delighted when Southern Water offered to donate a large quantity of water bottles for our clients. For some getting up to get themselves a drink can be extremely difficult, meaning they don’t drink as much as they should. Having a filled water bottle by their side will encourage our clients to take regular sips throughout the day, helping to keep them hydrated especially during the warmer months.” Daniel Rodrigues, Community Engagement Officer for Southern Water, continued, “We’re delighted to support this brilliant campaign that provides valuable support to our local communities. The water bottles will encourage vulnerable people to keep hydrated during Nutrition and Hydration Hydration Week.”

HILS staff standing together and smiling, each holding a Southern Water clear drinking bottle

Fun at our Community Hubs

Our Cuffley Day Centre clients in Hertfordshire enjoyed a hydration-themed quiz and a mouth-watering fruit tasting. Did you know a banana plant can be considered a herb as well as a fruit tree?

Bowls of fruit cut up into chunks

Over in Hatfield, our Friendship House clients dressed up for a fun-filled Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea party to mark the week, get silly, and learn more about the importance of good nutrition and hydration.

Community Hub attendees posing for a photo wearing handmade Mad Hatters hats, sat round a table

Smiling client wearing handmade Mad Hatters hat and smiling

Staff hydration challenge

As well as encouraging our clients to stay healthy and hydrated, we challenged our team members to drink more water each day throughout the week. Reporting back with their progress throughout the week, HILS team members Rachel, Will, and Bronagh worked hard to increase their water intake across the seven days and improve their wellbeing through hydration. Did they succeed? Click below to find out!

Hydration challenge: Introduction

Hydration Challenge: Mid-week check-in

Hydration Challenge: How did it go?

Spreading the word

We went out and about to hand deliver our updated hydration leaflet, jam-packed with tips and tricks to get people thinking about their hydration habits. We also shared posts throughout the week on social media full of tasty recipes and our top tips for eating well and staying hydrated.

Read more about eating nutritious foods and staying hydrated on the official Nutrition and Hydration Week website.