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Meals combine human beings’ nutritional requirements with cultural needs The aim of this paper was to evaluate how individual patients’ meals were planned, carried out and followed up by nursing staff related to nutritional requirements and ability to eat in the ward Eighteen newly admitted long-term care patients hospitalized for more than 3 weeks were observed for up to 6 weeks The patients’ conditions were examined using interviews, observations, recorded data and analyses for nutritional assessment Fourteen patients experienced difficulties related to motor dysfunctions in the upper extremities, mouth and pharynx in handling food Six of those were prescribed feeding aids or nutritional supplement Biochemistry was not used as a basis for these interventions and four at risk of malnutrition on admittance were missed Thus, this study exposed defective nursing assessment strategies However, eating dependency was prevented and nutritional status tended to recover among those where interventions were made