Old People Food – Diet, Best Choices, And Recipes

A food timetable for elderly people must consist of carbohydrates like brown rice and sweet potatoes and proteins like beans and fish, particularly salmon. That’s because they must eat a balanced meal.

Most importantly, their meals must include five portions of fruits and vegetables each day. Read this article to learn different types of food you can serve the older adults among you.

Why do old people need to eat differently?

Meals for the elderly must suit their body and health changes. The taste and food choices of older adults are usually different, so their diets must change.

Besides dietary restrictions, age also influences what you can and cannot eat. Eating well is non-negotiable at any age. In old age, quality must be prioritized above quantity. Old people cannot eat much food anyway.

Moreover, since they cannot eat a lot of food, these people must eat a nutrient-dense diet to make up for the quantity they are missing.

The quality of food elderly people eats greatly influences their physical & cognitive condition, bone & eye health, and immunity.

Old people’s food diet

Meals you can serve the elderly include:

1. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids

Fatty acids are essential for older adults; they aid in the prevention of inflammation which can trigger heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and rheumatoid. The acids also help to slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is an ailment that leads to poor vision. These fatty acids can keep the brain alert and also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Mackerel, tuna, sardines, soybeans, walnuts, canola oil, and flax seeds are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Nutritionists recommend serving old people food with fatty acids three times a week.

There are also omega-3 fatty acids supplements for old people. But they must be used with a doctor’s prescription.

2. Foods rich in calcium

Calcium is essential for older adults because it will help maintain the strength of their bones. It also lowers their blood pressure. Older people can get calcium from foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, cereals, and vegetables.

If the older person finds it hard to absorb so much calcium through diet, you can supplement them with drugs. Please ensure you consult a doctor before giving them the supplement.

3. Fiber-rich foods

As you get older, your digestion rate slows slow down. The gastrointestinal tract walls get thick and contractions become slower, leading to constipation.

Eating foods that contain fiber promotes digestion by transporting food through the digestive tract.

These foods also help reduce the risk of heart disease. Some fiber-rich foods include pasta, brown rice, nuts, vegetables, whole-grain bread, brown bread, whole-grain cereal, and fruits.

4. Foods rich in iron

Iron produces hemoglobin and aids the movement of oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. Insufficient iron in an elderly person’s diet could reduce blood supply.

This limitation will make them feel sluggish and tired. It can also make them anemic, a condition of low levels of red blood cells. Anemia in elderly people can have terrible consequences.

Some iron-rich foods for old people include fortified ready-to-eat cereals, soybeans, lentils, kidney beans, tofu, spinach, black beans, pinto beans, and plantains.

5. Foods rich in vitamin C

Vitamin C contains antioxidant properties that reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.

It also aids the production of collagen, gives your skin elasticity, and helps get rid of dead skin. If an older adult takes vitamin C, there is no doubt that they will have healthy skin.

Old people’s food choices

Fruits and vegetables

If an older person eats five or more portions of fruits and vegetables each day, it can prevent heart diseases and cancers. Vegetables and fruits also give your vitamins, fiber, and minerals to ensure you are healthy.

They are also low-fat foods. There are wide varieties: frozen, fresh, tinned, or dried fruits and vegetables. You can serve the older adults tinned fruit in juice instead of syrup and vegetables in water instead of brine.

Potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, and other foods with starch

Starchy foods qualify as essential old people’s food. They are rich in fiber and starch and are an excellent source of vitamin B and energy. It would help if you chose to serve varieties of whole grains like pasta, brown, and potatoes with the skin on.

In addition, breakfast cereals are the best for the elderly; choose whole-grain oats. The fiber helps to prevent constipation and reduces the risk of disorders in the intestine.

Dairy and its alternatives

Dairy foods such as yogurt, milk, and cheese are essential for vitamins A, D, and B12, protein, and fat. Old people need calcium to strengthen their bones and improve their nerve and muscle function.

They also need vitamins to aid in calcium absorption in their bodies. Low-fat varieties include skimmed milk, Edam cheese, half-fat cheddar, and cheddar cheese.

Putting milk in sauces and serving milk pudding will help old people get enough calcium.

Go for unsweetened varieties of almond and soy milk that are calcium-fortified when you want to buy dairy alternatives.

Beans, pulses, eggs, and other proteins

These are fantastic food options because they are low-fat and will not affect older people’s health.

Eggs are incredibly versatile and an excellent alternative to meat. You can make scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, or poached eggs and make them into an omelet. Elderly persons should eat two portions of fish every week, one oily and one dry.

Tinned fish like salmon and mackerel are also good because they contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Fats and oils

Healthy fat is called monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. The fats help reduce cholesterol, clog the arteries, and help regulate blood sugar levels, decreasing the risk for type 2 diabetes.

Chia seeds are excellent for older people, with 80% fat and omega-3 fatty acid. You can add this to a bowl of whole-grain oats and serve the elderly person.

Lean meats

Instead of eating processed meat, older adults should consume chicken, turkey, unprocessed meat, and fish. Unprocessed meat includes beef, pork, turkey, etc.


These are great for older adults because they are sources of vitamins, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. Magnesium is essential for strengthening bones and plays a protective role for cardiac.

Recipes for old people’s food

1. Creamy porridge with warm berry compote

creamy porridge with warm berry compote - millenora

This recipe is quick and easy to prepare. It will take you only five minutes. It would help if you had porridge oats.


  • Full-fat milk
  • Frozen mixed berries
  • Caster sugar
  • Water

To make this creamy bowl, you can follow these simple procedures:

  • Bring your porridge and mix it with your spoon in a saucepan.
  • Let it boil while you stir continuously, and take care so that the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • When cooked, serve in a bowl with the warm berry compote.

To make the berry compote, follow the simple steps:

  • Place your frozen berries, water, and caster sugar in a saucepan and let it boil.
  • Reduce the heat when it’s boiled and let it simmer.
  • Stir until the berries are soft, then remove and let it cool.

2. Creamy tomato risotto

creamy tomato risotto - millenora

This recipe will take you about 30 minutes to prepare. It would help if you had the following:

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Peeled onion
  • Crushed garlic clove
  • Risotto rice
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Vegetable stock
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Grated cheese
  • Black pepper

You can follow these simple steps to make a plate of tomato risotto:

  • Heat the oil and butter in a pan, add the onion, and allow it to cook until softened.
  • Add your garlic, cook for a minute, and then pour in your rice and cook. Cook until the grains look translucent.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and vegetable stock to the rice mixture and cover tightly. Let it bake for 25 minutes until the rice is soft.
  • With care, add the basil and cheese. Sprinkle with ground black pepper and serve.

3. Pea and mint soup

old people food - millenora

This recipe is healthy and gluten-free. It takes 35 minutes to cook. The ingredients you need are:

  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Vegetable stock
  • Frozen peas
  • Small bunch of fresh mint
  • Whole milk
  • Ground black pepper and salt

To make this soup, you have to:

  • Chop the onion and potato and put them in your pot; you can also add vegetable stock.
  • Let the mixture boil for a while, then bring it down to a simmer until the potato is soft.
  • Add the peas to your mix and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Chop your mint and stir it into the pot. Let it cool a bit before you pour it into a food processor and blend it until it’s smooth.
  • Take it back into your pan, add milk, and season with salt and black pepper.
  • Serve with warm bread if you’d like.

Food for older people without appetite

As people age, it’s natural for their appetites to reduce. This can happen due to reasons like health issues, low mobility, and changes in the gastrointestinal.

Simple and nutritious foods that you can feed to seniors with a declining appetite include:

1. Eggs

These are not expensive and widely available for senior citizens. They can also enjoy it in a variety of ways.

2. Fruit smoothies

Fruit smoothies give older adults a chance to satisfy their sweet tooth with natural sugars in fruits. It also provides real food nourishment.

3. Avocados

These fruits have a mild flavor and soft texture filled with nutrients. They will boost the appetite of older adults.

4. Ground meat

An elderly with a loss of appetite may not want to eat a large piece of meat. Ground meat is the next best option; it allows for smaller portions and is easier to swallow.

Instant energy food for old people

1. Nuts are full of nutrients that give seniors energy. The amino acid they contain will also help the elderly build muscles.

2. Almonds have broken down carbs and fiber, which provide energy.

3. Berries keep seniors hydrated and energized.

4. Oatmeal is good for the heart and will energize them throughout the day.

5. Greek yogurt contains healthy proteins and fats, which boost energy significantly.

Foods older people should avoid

  • Undercooked eggs, meat, or poultry
  • Grapefruit
  • Caffeine
  • Sodas or sugary drinks
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Foods with empty calories, such as donuts or French fries.


Why should old people avoid sugar-free drinks?

At first sight, you might think sugar-free drinks are the best alternative, but they are not. These drinks contain artificial sweeteners which cause health issues.

Is coffee bad for old people?

Yes, it is. Coffee contains caffeine which increases anxiety, affects the heart, and affects sleep.

Is high-sodium food suitable for the elderly?

No, it’s not. Salty foods are dangerous for older adults, especially if they have a history of hypertension.  

What fruit should seniors avoid?

Seniors should stay away from grapefruit.


Nutrition is essential for everyone regardless of age. But, it is crucial for older people. As you age, your body changes, so you need to stay healthy.

Thank you for reading.

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