Aging and Eating Healthy: A Brief Guide

Aging Changes:

The physical and social changes that accompany aging can make it more difficult for your loved one to eat healthy. These include changes in:

  • Home life, such as suddenly living alone or mobility issues

  • Health, which can make it harder to cook or feed oneself

  • Medicines, which can change taste or take away appetite

  • Income, so one may not have as much money for food

  • Problems chewing or swallowing

Staying Healthy:

To maintain a healthy diet, a few general nutrition guidelines should be considered:

1. Eat mostly nutritious low calories foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat)

2. Avoid high-calorie foods with minimal nutrients (chips, candy, soda)

3. Eat foods low in cholesterol and fat

4. Stay hydrated

Other Tips:

Consider these other tips for overcoming common barriers to adequate nutrition:

1. Try organizing or attending group meals

2. See a dentist if you are struggling to chew

3. If swallowing is difficult, try drinking more water with meals

4. If your loved one has trouble smelling and tasting, try adding color or texture to foods

5. Try to schedule healthy snacks throughout the day to maintain energy levels

Source: “Nutrition for Older Adults.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 12 Mar. 2020,