Supporting older people to eat well
The information on this page is of a general nature. If you have any health concerns or need individualised advice, talk to your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Your service is important to help older Australians eat well and prevent illness or malnutrition.
Preventing and treating malnutrition
- Malnutrition is a deficiency, excess or imbalance of a person’s energy and nutrients.
- It is a major health problem often unrecognised and untreated.
- It affects between 5-11 per cent of community-living older people in Australia.
Guidelines for supporting older people to eat well
If you offer centre-based and home-delivered meals, learn about:
- providing nutritious meals to older people
- accessing practical menu planning advice.
For an accessible version of the National Meal Guidelines, please contact Meals on Wheels.
Meal planning tools
These fact sheets help services to plan a menu that meets the needs of older people.
- Main meal only
- Main meal and one snack
- Main meal and two snacks
- Morning and afternoon tea ideas
- Tips and recipes to make soups more nourishing
- Tips for making small meals count
- Tips for desserts to include more fruit and dairy
- Quantities of lean meats and alternatives for cooking for groups
- Quantities of dairy and alternatives for cooking for groups
Appetite for Life Manual
The Appetite for Life Manual has practical fact sheets to help health and community workers:
- advise older people about how to eat well
- help clients have better nutrition
- identify older people 'at risk' of poor nutrition
- provide 'at risk' people with appropriate information.
It contains information on:
- eating well
- practical food ideas
- nourishing food ideas
- gastrointestinal upsets
- diabetes and heart disease
- other health issues (anaemia, arthritis, gout, dementia, osteoporosis and medications)
- physical activity.
Resources to promote eating well for older people
There are many resources available to help promote eating well for older people.
Five food groups
This activity kit is a way to explore the foods that fit into each food group.
Drinking enough fluids
Older people need to drink at least eight glasses of fluids a day. Help them learn what counts as a fluid.
Promoting healthy eating
This poster can help you plan health promotion ideas activities and events throughout the year.
Healthy eating newsletter articles
Access eating well articles for older people. Copy and paste them into your own newsletter.
Where to get further support for older people
Eating with friends
This is a social eating program for older Tasmanians to share a nutritious meal together.
Learn more about the Eating with friends program on the Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania website.
Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
This program helps older people access support services to safely live alone at home.
Learn more about the CHSP on the Australian Department of Health website.