Here is the food pyramid for the elderly:

  1. Eat a variety of foods.

  2. Build diet around complex carbohydrates – fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals.

  3. Include citrus fruit (or) juice containing vitamin C every day.

  4. Select fish, poultry, lean meat (or) dried peas & beans every day.

  5. Obtain adequate calcium.

  6. Limit intake of bakery products high in fat & simple sugars.

  7. Limit intake of processed foods high in sodium & fat.

  8. Consume eight glasses 300 ml per glass of water daily.

Few age related changes:

  1. Tastelessness

Nobody wants to eat tasteless and odorless food.

In the process of getting older, taste perception reduces – the perception for salt at an early age, and for sweet a little later.

This is as a result of hyper keratinization of the epithelium that may occlude the taste bud ducts.

Denture wearers, do exhibit a significant decrease in their ability to decipher differences tastes of certain foods, along with hardness and texture.

This decrease may result in less food intake.

  1. Dry mouth

Metallic or salty taste, bitter and sour food sensitivity hikes up when salivary flow changes.

It’s not a direct consequence of getting older but resulting from many factors like-

Emotions -fear, anxiety, depression.


Drugs –antihypertensives, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antihistamines, anticholinergics,            sedatives, and anti Parkinsonism drugs.

Illness –pernicious anemia, HIV, Sjogren’s syndrome, vitamin A or B complex deficiency, salivary      duct obstruction, diabetes.

In addition, lack of saliva can affect the nutritional status in a number of ways;

  •  Hindrance in chewing of food because it prevents the formation of a bolus.
  • Mouth becomes sore and chewing painful.
  • Swallowing is difficult due to the loss of saliva’s lubricating effect.
  • Causes changes in taste perception that decreases the food intake.

How to overcome problem of dry mouth-

  • If a drug is suspecting to be the cause, consult the physician and use an alternate drug or modify the dosage schedule.
  • Use salivary substitutes for temporary relief- milk(aids in lubricating the tissues, increasing the pleasure of eating, has nutritional property and also has buffering capacity)
  • Sialogogues-have sugar free gum, lozenges, sugar free candies containing citric acid.
  • Beverages that may produce more saliva-water with a slice of lemon, lemonade.
  • Chewing fibrous foods such as celery or whole grain breads will also increase salivary production.
  • Making a conscious effort to consume at least 8 glasses of water, juice or milk daily is the most important measure to relieve dry mouth.
  • Intensive fluoride treatment over a one month period to reduce the incidence of caries.
  • Mouth rinses-use of supersaturated calcium phosphate mouth rinses.
  • Dental counselling about healthy diet tips for seniors and proper home care oral hygiene instructions from the dentist.
  1. Burning and painful tongue

Old people who live on a tea-and-toast diet are prime candidates for iron deficiency anaemia.

However, an adequately nourished older man or postmenopausal woman would probably not have this problem unless there is hemorrhage.

  My piece of advice for elder to overcome burning and painful mouth is

  • Ingestion of iron rich foods such as liver, eggs and cereals as well as iron supplements like 1 gm of ferrous sulfate in 4 divided doses.
  • Best food sources intake like yeast, fresh green vegetables, liver and fruits.


Food pyramid for the elderly

The five food groups for the healthy diet tips for seniors in the desirable amounts by eating:

  1. Four servings of vegetables and fruits, subdivided into 3 categories:

(a) 2 servings of good sources of vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, salad greens and raw cabbage.

(b) 1 serving of a good source of provitamin A such as deep green and yellow vegetables or fruits.

(c) 1 serving of potatoes and other vegetables and fruits. 2. Four servings of enriched breads, cereals and flour products.

  1. Four servings of enriched breads, cereals and flour products.
  2. Two servings of milk and milk-based foods, such as cheese.
  3. Two servings of meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dried beans, peas, nuts.
  4. Additional miscellaneous foods including fats, oils and sugars, as well as alcohol; the only serving recommendation is for about 2-4 tablespoons of polyunsaturated fats, which supply essential fatty acids.




The logical sequence of eating food is biting, chewing and swallowing.

And it is much easier for the new denture wearer to master this complex of masticatory movements in the reverse order.

Consequently, for first few days after denture insertion,eat food of a consistency that will require only swallowing, such as liquids.

Keep eating soft food for the next few days and a firm or regular diet by the end of the week.

First post-insertion day

Vegetable-Fruit group: Juices

Bread-Cereal group: Gruel’s cooked in either milk or water.

Milk group: Fluid milk in any form.

Meat group: Eggs in eggnog’s, pureed meats, meat broths, or soups.

The sample menu should contain a glass of milk at least once a day.

Second and third post insertion day

Vegetable-Fruit group: Juices; Tender cooked fruits and vegetables, (seedless and skinless)

Bread-cereal group: Cooked cereals, softened breads boiled, rice, noodles and macaroni.

Milk group: Fluid milk and cottage cheese.

Meat group: Chopped beef, ground liver, tender chicken/fish in a cream sauce, scrambled eggs, thick soups, etc.

The sample menu must include butter or margarine, a glass of milk at least once a day.

Fourth day and after

By the fourth day or as soon as the sore spots have healed, seniors can eat firmer foods in addition to the soft foods.

They should ideally cut into small pieces before eating.

The sample menu must contain butter or margarine and a glass of milk.

To know the side effects of wearing a complete denture. Read more about consequences of wearing a denture.

For the dentist


Nutrition care for denture patients must begin at the first appointment so counseling & follow-up can occur during the course of treatment.

Nutrition care can be provided by the dentist & dental hygienist who have backgrounds in basic nutrition.

The main objective of giving healthy diet tips for seniors is to correct imbalances in nutrient intake that may interfere with maintenance of the oral tissues.

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