Breakfast and lunch for Elderly Persons
Nutrition for the Elderly (part 2 of 4). Planning Breakfast and lunch for an Elderly Person
February 21, 2017
Image of fuit pieces
Nutrition for the elderly (part 4 of 4). Delicious desserts and coping with allergies
February 27, 2017
Meal planning text with pictures of foods

Meal planning text with images of foods

Planning meals for elderly persons just requires a little extra care. For example, you need to make sure that the food is both nutritious and easy to eat. Also, elderly people like variety in their meals too. So, in order to please the whole family, here are some helpful tips for you.


This meal would be light whilst ensuring the person does not go to bed hungry.  Therefore soup should be high on the agenda, ensuring no hard, chunky pieces are present. Pureed or semi-pureed soups are delicious and can be tailored to their particular taste. Have you ever tried zucchini soup? It is delicious.  Depending upon what they had eaten for lunch, half a sandwich, something light like Shepherd’s Pie, au Gratin dishes, fish mousses, vegetable medleys would all be satisfying and nutritious. Also, they would ensure a good night’s sleep.

Mid-morning and afternoon Breaks

Bearing in mind that portion control is essential for everyone who wants to maintain a healthy weight, not just the elderly, a mid-morning break is enjoyable and sociable. This could also be taken at 3 pm instead if a very light dinner had been decided upon. A cup of tea or coffee, favouring low-fat or fat-free milk or milk substitutes is probably a life-long tradition. Accompanied by healthy biscuits, soft, plain cakes such as Madeira or Tea Cake would certainly please, on one of these occasions.

Finally, remember to provide for hydration in the form of water, as well as water flavoured with slices of fruit for variety.  Hot chocolate in the colder months and the odd glass of wine if this is appropriate will make your loved one both healthy and merry.

Useful, easy to make recipes for elderly persons

Zucchini Soup

This soup is easy to prepare, easy to digest and delicious. It is lovely with the addition of cream, but the cream is optional and can be substituted for milk, soy milk or any preferred option.


  • 2 tbs butter, margarine or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 medium or 2 large zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 clove of garlic, optional, chopped finely
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large sprig of thyme
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Melt fat in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add zucchini and onion and fry gently until lightly golden.
  • Now add the spring of thyme, and garlic and take care not to burn.
  • Pop in 4 cups of chicken stock, bring to the boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until the zucchini is soft, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove thyme stalk.
  • Pour soup into a blender, no more than half full.
  • Cover and hold lid in place, pulsing a few times to blend.
  • Puree in batches until smooth.
  • Taste before adding salt and pepper.
  • Add cream or milk and reheat without boiling.

This soup serves four people. Plus, it is delicious on its own but by adding hot toast younger family members get some crunch too. Furthermore, you can create variety by using similar vegetables in the same recipe.

Au Gratin

Au Gratin is a French term for food that has been coated with a bechamel or white sauce, as for cauliflower cheese for instance, then topped with grated cheese and put under the griller to brown. White fish, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, asparagus and of course cauliflower are all delicious prepared in this way. Remember to finely chop the vegetables and flake the fish, paying particular attention to fish bones.


  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 25g/1oz plain flour
  • 600ml/1 pint milk
  • salt and white pepper


  • On medium to low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Take care not to colour or burn.
  • Take the pan off the heat and gradually whisk in the milk to get a smooth sauce.
  • Return to the heat and, stirring all the time, a balloon whisk is brilliant for this,  bring to the boil.
  • Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes to thicken and cook off the raw taste of the flour.
  • Season with salt and white pepper.
  • This sauce can be enriched with the addition of egg yolks.
  • Parsley will give it a different appearance and flavour.
  • Using an oven proof dish, greased with butter or margarine, fill the dish with portions of hot, cooked, flaked fish or vegetables. Season and add nutmeg if desired
  • Pour the white sauce or béchamel over the top, and top with grated cheese.  Breadcrumbs add crunch if this is suitable for the elderly person.
  • Put under a medium grill and allow to brown. Be careful not to burn the topping.

This meal serves four people. Plus, it can be enjoyed on its own or with a lovely salad and bread if appropriate. 

Fish Mousse

Preparation time:  less than 30 mins

Cooking time:  less than 10 mins


  • chunk of bread
  • 1 white fish fillet skin and bones removed, chopped
  • 1 level tbs chopped dill
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • 1 egg


  • Heat the oven to 220C
  • Blend the bread, cream, fish, dill and egg in a food processor.
  • Pour into a lined and greased round ramekin dish and place in a bain-marie.
  • Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
  • Perfect as an entree or light supper dish, or with a light salad.

This meal serves one person. However, to feed more people just multiply the ingredients accordingly.

Vegetable Medley

This dish is similar to a vegetable stew, and it can be enhanced with the addition of beef stock which will give it a meat flavour, but without the addition of actual meat pieces.  It is perfect for vegetarians, or people with high blood pressure or cholesterol problems who are watching their fat intake. It is also extremely versatile because it can be made from a combination of whichever vegetables the elderly person likes. Combinations can include potatoes, carrots, zucchini, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, peas, onions, garlic and any variety of herbs, but especially thyme and parsley. A little tomato paste ill give it a lovely colour and depth of flavour.


  • Make up individual portions of a preferred combination and chop vegetables into medium-sized chunks.
  • Chop onions into very small chunks and finely crush garlic if using.
  • Remove thyme leaves from stalk and finely chop parsley, using only the leaves and very fine stalks.
  • For one portion, heat a dessertspoon of olive oil in a saucepan.
  • Begin by adding onion and cook stirring until opaque and lightly golden.
  • Add vegetables and stirfry until just golden brown. You want a little colour but no charring.
  • Add garlic and thyme for just a few seconds.
  • Add a level tablespoon of tomato paste or puree.  Stir in briefly to cook.
  • Add sufficient beef stock to just barely cover vegetables, do not drown.
  • Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cover.
  • Cook until desired tenderness, 8, 10, 15 minutes. Just keep watching it so as not to overcook.
  • If the sauce is too thin, remove the vegetables and keep warm whilst reducing it. Otherwise the vegetables would become overcooked.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper if desired, stir in parsley and a knob of butter.

This dish is very tasty served on its own or with rice, soft short pasta, or mashed potatoes. Plus, you can simply multiply the quantities to include family members or friends.


In part four of this article we will present you with some suggestions for light and healthy desserts.  People often think of dessert as perhaps unnecessary or fattening.  However, for the elderly they are seen more as a treat, and perhaps a compensation for some of the things they have had to give up in later life.

Next up! Final part: Meal planning for an elderly persons including breakfast & lunch!

…or click here to go to back to part 1 of the article.

If you need more specific support for your loved one please contact Camberwell Gardens Aged Care on 1800 GOLDAGE (1800 465 324)  or email us at You can also visit us at 15/15 Cornell St, Camberwell Victoria 3124.

If you need more specific support for your loved one please contact Camberwell Gardens Aged Care on 1800 GOLDAGE (1800 465 324)  or email us at You can also visit us at 15/15 Cornell St, Camberwell Victoria 3124.

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