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Healthy Eating

Sample Menus: Healthy Eating for Older Adults

Planning a day’s worth of meals using smart food choices might seem overwhelming at first. Here are some sample menus to show you how easy it can be. These menus provide 2,000 calories a day. You might need to eat fewer or more calories, depending on your activity level and whether you are a man or a woman.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's ChooseMyPlate offers sample menus for a week. Although it might look like the recommended amounts for a food group are not met, or are exceeded, in a single day, the average over a week meets recommendations.

Learn more about healthy food choices for healthy aging:

Shopping for Food That's Good for You

Plans for Healthy Eating

Help with Food Costs

Sample Menu 1
Breakfast Lunch

Breakfast burrito

  • 1 flour tortilla (8-inch diameter)
  • 1 scrambled egg
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 2 tablespoons salsa

1/2 large grapefruit

1 cup water, coffee, or tea

Roast beef sandwich

  • 1 small whole-grain hoagie bun
  • 2 ounces lean roast beef
  • 1 slice part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms (cooked in 1 teaspoon corn/canola oil)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
Baked potato wedges
  • 1 cup potato wedges (cooked in 1 teaspoon canola oil)
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

1 cup fat-free milk

Dinner Snack

Baked salmon on beet greens

  • 4 ounce salmon filet
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup cooked beet greens (cooked in 2 teaspoons canola oil)
Quinoa with almonds
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup silvered almonds

1 cup fat-free milk

 

1 cup cantaloupe balls

Sample Menu 2
Breakfast Lunch

Whole wheat French toast

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 2/3 egg
  • 2 teaspoons tub margarine
  • 1 tablespoon pancake syrup

1/2 large grapefruit

1 cup fat-free milk

3-bean vegetarian chili on baked potato

  • 1/4 cup each cooked kidney beans, navy beans, and black beans
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 1 teaspoon corn/canola oil (to cook onion and peppers)
  • 1/4 cup cheese sauce
  • 1 large baked potato

1/2 cup cantaloupe

1 cup water, coffee, or tea

Dinner Snack

Hawaiian pizza

  • 2 slices cheese pizza, thin crust
  • 1 ounce lean ham
  • 1/4 cup pineapple
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, cooked in 1 teaspoon safflower oil
Green salad
  • 1 cup mixed salad greens
  • 4 teaspoons oil and vinegar dressing

1 cup fat-free milk

 

3 tablespoon hummus

5 whole wheat crackers

Sample Menu 3
Breakfast Lunch

Cold cereal

  • 1 cup shredded wheat
  • 1/2 cup sliced banana
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 slice whole wheat toast
  • 2 teaspoons all-fruit preserves

1 cup fat-free chocolate milk

Tuna salad sandwich

  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 2 ounces tuna
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce

1 medium peach

1 cup fat-free milk

Dinner Snack

Roasted chicken

  • 3 ounces cooked chicken breast

1 large sweet potato, roasted

1/2 cup succotash (lima beans & corn)
  • 1 teaspoon tub margarine
1 ounce whole wheat roll
  • 1 teaspoon tub margarine

1 cup water, coffee, or tea

 

1/4 cup dried apricots

1 cup flavored yogurt (chocolate)

Sample Menu 4
Breakfast Lunch

Creamy oatmeal (cooked in milk)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 cup orange juice

  • 2 teaspoons all-fruit preserves

1 cup fat-free chocolate milk

Taco salad

  • 2 ounces tortilla chips
  • 2 ounces cooked ground turkey (cooked in 2 teaspoons corn oil)
  • 1/4 cup kidney beans
  • 1/2 ounce low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped lettuce
  • 1/2 cup avocado
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice (on avocado)
  • 2 tablespoons salsa

1 cup water, coffee, or tea

Dinner Snack

Spinach lasagna roll-ups

  • 1 cup lasagna noodles (2 ounces dry)
  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 ounce whole wheat roll
  • 1 teaspoon tub margarine

1 cup fat-free milk

 

2 tablespoons raisins

1 ounce unsalted almonds

DOWNLOAD SAMPLE MENUS (PDF, 117K)

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For More Information on Healthy Eating Plans

Choose My Plate
www.choosemyplate.gov

USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center   
National Agricultural Library
1-301-504-5414
fnic@ars.usda.gov
www.nal.usda.gov/fnic

USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
1-703-305-7600
www.cnpp.usda.gov


Updated: July 22, 2017