Aged Care Nutrition Essentials

As we grow older, eating well becomes even more important for our health and happiness. Good nutrition can help us stay strong, fight off illnesses, and feel our best everyday. That’s why understanding the importance of aged care nutrition is crucial. It’s about making sure we get the right nutrients to support our bodies as we age. Fundamentally, ensuring access to nutritional meals for everyone is extremely important.

From staying active to enjoying our favourite foods, proper nutrition plays a big role in our quality of life. Whether you are in residential aged care, a dining advisory support unit or at home, the food served to you everyday matters. Here at Nursed Care, we understand that and know that the food choices that we make and the dining experience that we have everyday makes all the difference to a happier, healthier you.

The Australian dietary guidelines

The Australian Dietary Guidelines for the elderly offer valuable insights to ensure a nourishing and fulfilling life. Following three key rules, they emphasize the importance of consuming a variety of nutritious foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

The guidelines also encourage the inclusion of lean proteins, such as fish, poultry, and legumes, while limiting the intake of saturated fats, added sugars, and salt. Staying hydrated is highlighted, emphasizing the significance of water for overall well-being.

By adhering to these principles, older individuals can enhance their health, maintain vitality, and savour a diet that supports the unique needs of aging bodies. Let’s break down the three guidelines specifically, and look at how they play a role in the aged care quality that aged care providers provide.

Guideline 1: Making the right choices

As we age and find ourselves in residential aged care, the nutrition in aged care, and the choices we make about our diet and physical activity become even more crucial for maintaining our health and well-being. The first dietary guideline stresses the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight through nutritious foods and regular exercise.

For older individuals, this not only helps in preserving muscle strength but also in managing health issues more effectively and enjoying life to the fullest.

While following the recommended servings from the five food groups is essential, it’s equally important to avoid excess servings of discretionary foods and drinks.

Interestingly, research suggests that older adults, especially those over 65, may benefit from carrying a little extra weight, as it could contribute to better health outcomes.

However, it’s essential to strike a balance and not compromise on nutrition. If unsure about weight management, consulting aged care providers, like the residential aged care specialists at Nursed, can ensure that you make informed choices about the food and nutrition that you need.

Guideline 2: Eat from the 5 food groups

Embracing a diverse array of nutritious foods from the five essential groups is key to supporting our well-being as we age. While circumstances, health concerns, and budgets may influence our dietary choices, it’s vital to ensure a broad spectrum of nutrients by including items from each food group.

Even if challenges arise, troubleshooting and adopting practical tips can help maintain variety in meals and snacks.

For those navigating a tighter budget, thoughtful planning, resourceful use of available options, and buying only what’s necessary can make a significant difference.

Cooking for one? Discover quick, healthy options and consider sharing meals with friends or family. Addressing dental concerns? Opt for milled whole grains, soft-cooked and canned fruits and vegetables, and nut pastes.

Emphasizing colourful vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy alternatives fosters a balanced and nourishing diet, contributing to overall health and vitality in our later years. The chart below provides a helpful illustration for an idea of what nutrition in aged care should look like for the best dining experience and aged care quality possible.

Guideline 3: The Importance of Control

Taking control of our dietary choices becomes even more vital as we become a part of aged care, focusing on limiting the intake of specific elements for overall well-being. While it’s generally advisable to restrict saturated fats, added salt, added sugars, and alcohol, older people managing chronic diseases must approach this guidance with caution.

Striking a balance is crucial, as overly limiting these components can inadvertently lead to nutrient deficiencies and pose risks, especially for those at risk of malnutrition. Seeking advice from health professionals can provide tailored insights into the individual benefits and risks.

Opting for healthier fats, avoiding excessive salt, and reducing added sugars contribute to better heart health. Additionally, increased consumption of high-fiber foods and adequate hydration helps combat age-related bowel concerns.

By making informed choices, older adults can proactively manage their health, ensuring a balanced and nourishing diet tailored to their unique needs. For any questions that you might have, contact Nursed today or the Department of Health and Aged Care’s dining hotline.

Contact Nursed Care Sydney

Experience dedicated aged care with Nursed Care, an accredited provider based in Parramatta, proudly serving the broader Sydney region. Our comprehensive services address various aspects of daily living, from personal care to medical support, fostering social engagement, and providing reliable transportation. Specializing in affordable care services for seniors under the Commonwealth Home Support Program, we enable clients to age gracefully in the comfort of their homes or

At Nursed Care, we emphasize effective, responsive, and quality service provision to support seniors across the metropolitan area. Connect with us for information on nurturing the health and nutrition of your aging loved ones.

Related Questions

It’s perfectly normal for some older Australians to experience swallowing difficulties. While these difficulties may affect your dining experience once, don’t let them affect your overall aged care quality and health and well-being!

Making sure that you drink enough water, especially when eating dry foods, avoiding caffeinated beverages and ensuring proper oral hygiene are all things that the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission recommend.

Staying well-hydrated is crucial, especially as we age, even if our sense of thirst diminishes. Aim for about 6–8 cups of fluids daily, increasing in warmer weather or during exercise. Water, the ultimate hydrator, is essential for digestion, blood volume, and overall health.

Don’t forget alternatives like tea, coffee, mineral water, and reduced-fat milk. Ensuring an adequate fluid intake supports proper bodily functions. Combining this with high-fiber foods helps alleviate sluggish bowels, promoting digestive health. Prioritizing hydration ensures your body functions optimally, contributing to vitality and well-being in your later years.

Understanding serving sizes is essential for crafting a well-balanced diet that caters to your age-specific needs. Aim for daily servings from the five food groups, each tailored to provide the nutrients your body requires. For vegetables, a standard serving is around 75 grams, encompassing options like half a cup of cooked green or orange vegetables. Fruit servings, at 150 grams, include a medium apple or banana.

When it comes to grain foods, a standard serving equals 500 kilojoules, like a slice of bread or half a cup of cooked porridge, with an emphasis on choosing wholegrain options. Similarly, for proteins, a 500–600 kilojoule serving, like 65 grams of lean red meats, supports optimal nutrition.

In the dairy category, a standard serving is 500–600 kilojoules, exemplified by a cup of milk or three-quarters cup of yoghurt. Adhering to these recommended serving sizes ensures a well-rounded and nutrient-rich diet for older individuals.

Need qualified care?

At Nursed, we offer a full range of care and disability support services, assisting you to live the life you want to live. Contact us today.

Connect with Us

Our friendly staff are eager to help you live your best life. Whether you need new accommodation, supports, home modifications or simply want to join our day programs we’ll ensure you’re looked after. 

Contact Us V2