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Nutr Res. 2008 Mar;28(3):156-65. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2007.12.010.

Daily menus can result in suboptimal nutrient intakes, especially calcium, of adolescents living in dormitories.

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  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management, University of Rijeka, Primorska 42, PO Box 97, Naselje Ika, 51410 Opatija, Croatia.


The aims of this study were to evaluate daily menus in Croatian dormitories and to assess the overall intake of dairy products among resident adolescents. For this purpose, 168 daily menus were chosen for nutritional evaluation by random sampling. In addition, 227 adolescents (133 girls and 94 boys) participated in a questionnaire focused on food intake in addition to the meals supplied in dormitories with the aim to assess the amount and the type of dairy products consumed. The results showed that only 35% of the daily menus were nutritionally balanced. Most of the menus provided an excess of energy, protein, carbohydrate, saturated fat, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamin A. The levels of calcium and magnesium in the menus were suboptimal. The menus offered to adolescents provided approximately 2 servings of dairy products per day. Milk was the most often supplied dairy product (1.1 servings per day), whereas yogurt had the lowest frequency of serving (0.2 servings per day). The most preferred dairy-based snack for both sexes was milk. Dairy-based snacks provided about 1 serving per day for both sexes and contributed to about 30% of the recommended dietary allowances for calcium. Adolescents who regularly consumed dairy-based snacks meet the recommendations (3.2 servings of dairy products per day and about 98% recommended dietary allowances for calcium). We conclude that the institutional menu planning should be improved because the intake of dairy snacks will continue to be a problem for achieving a healthy diet in adolescences.

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