eating education

Healthy Eating – Nutrition and Meal Planning for Seniors

In the three workshop sessions, participants evaluate their current eating options, and learn ways to improve their meal planning and food preparation to promote good health.

Topics include an overview of essential food groups, vitamins and other nutrients, diet and calorie requirements, eating journal, meal planning, weight management and nutritional health.

The group meets for one hour each week for 3 weeks. Each week, we will discuss important topics in healthy eating, introduce new ideas, and review participants’ progress made during the week. We will answer questions on individualized meal planning in these supportive sessions.

Introductions, needs and expectations – special diets, medical conditions (eg. diabetes, high cholesterol), nutrition basics – calories, vitamins, minerals, food groups, daily requirements, water, meals and snacks, activity/exercise, wellness, individual differences, variety, balance, food journals for next time, questions

Food journals – results, progress, review nutrition basics, questions, action plan, 3 small easy food-related changes, importance of breakfast, meal planning, weight management, food preparation, shopping, portion size estimates, cravings, continue food journals, menu plans for next week

Small changes for big results, moderation, 3 non-food changes, refining personalized action plans, food journals, questions, community resources

Healthy Eating guide

Food journal

Menu plan

200 calories – looks like, costs

Meals on Wheels

Mercy Brown Bag

Mastick Lunch Program
suggested donation

Alameda Farmers Market
Times-Star – monthly best buys


  • examine current eating patterns – checkbox food intake, chart of calories by height and weight
  • compare family eating with USDA recommendations – USDA pyramid
  • discuss how to make changes – simple steps, brainstorm
  • discuss myths and misconceptions – too much of a good thing, portion size
  • understand strenghts and shortcomings of fad diets – South Beach, Atkins, Zone
  • recognize need for continuous adjustment to maintain healthy eating
  • general guidelines – good suggestions, shortcomings, one size doesn’t fit all
  • individual nutritional balance – similarities, differences, modifications
  • one day at a time – experience, observation, adjustments
  • diet-related diseases – what they are, what causes them, how they can be prevented, cured, reveresed and/or rduced


daily food chart with checkboxes – yesterday as an example
chart – calories by height and weight, activity level adjustment
USDA pyramid food guide – why it works
nutritional data on food products – helpful, misleading
serving size – important factor

protein – animal, vegetable
carbohydarates – good, bad, diabetes
fat – more than 2x the calories than protein or carbohydrates by weight, good fat, bad fat

Where do I find low-fat, low-salt recipes that taste good?

for every 100 people… – number with

good advice



3 – Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
+2 – Add color. Aim for balance.

Protein & Fat – meat, fish, dairy, nuts
Fruit & Vegetables – “leaves, stems & roots”
Starch – “seeds” – corn, soybeans, wheat and rice
+ Water
+ medication, supplements (non-food)

5-6 x 100 calorie servings from each of 3 categories
1500-1800 calories – moderately active older adult
100 calorie activities

100 extra calories per day results in 10 pound weight gain per year (3500 calories per pound)

lots of small changes, trade-offs, substitutions to save 50-100 calories at a time – add up over a year

Good Questions (handout)

too much conflicting information – why
what’s best for me
long term good health
making up for lost time -reversible

outline – good nutrition, balanced diet, wellness – exercise, ? from Covey, lifelong learning
interactions – diet / health / lifestyle
one page – how to
questionaire > type, personailzation
specifics for group
planning and preparation – regular shopping, cooking time, eating out
nutrients focus – water, Calcium, Vitamin D, antioxidents
selected concerns / issues – too much/too little
health issues – vision (cateracts), osteoporosus, arthritis
brain games – positive thoughts
differences in people – stories
fad diets – Atkins, Zone, South Beach
in-the-news nutrients, food, health issues
weight loss tips – 200 calories here and there – eat at home rather than out, cook more than you eat > leftovers
general guidelines – summary, reiterate, what next