TEXT + | TEXT -        

Health Topics - Nutrition

Diet and exercise play a key role when it comes to staying healthy. As labour saving devices allow us to enjoy more sedentary lifestyles we need to adjust our food intake to increase fruit and vegetables and reduce fats and oils. Heart disease, cancer and diabetes are just a few of the illnesses effected by poor nutrition. There are many organisations which provide information and education to help people to eat their way to better health. Here are a few links. Also try out the recipe sites listed if you feel like you're running out of ideas on what to cook!

Stave off Cognitive Decline with Seafood
Recent research has shown that eating a meal of seafood or other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids at least once a week may protect against age-related memory loss and thinking problems in older people. To read further...

Eat Well Live Well Nutrition Workshops
Its objections are to:

  • Enable older men and women to access improved knowledge of meal planning, shopping and basic cooking methods to provide a healthy diet for themselves
  • Provide opportunities for older men to gain confidence with “Hands on” cooking experience
  • Facilitate opportunities for older people living alone to share meals in a supportive social environment
  • Share information on new technologies which can facilitate the process of preparing nourishing meals.

These workshops are run by Age Concern Hamilton for older people. 


Senior Chef Cooking Classes for Older Adults
Senior Chef is a FREE eight-week cooking course for people aged 65 and over who want to improve their cooking skills, confidence, or motivation around cooking for one or two people.
Classes are three hours long, and run once a week, usually starting at 10am. There are usually eight to 10 people in a class.
Each weekly class includes:

  1. Nutrition education, for example, eating well for older people, menu planning, budgeting, shopping tips.
  2. Preparing and cooking a meal in pairs.
  3. Sharing the meal with the group.

“Cooking for Older People” recipe book order form – this book is provided free to those who attend Senior Chef but it is also available to purchase from Christchurch.  

Senior Chef is run in Southland, Otago, South Canterbury, Canterbury, West Coast, Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Whangarei and soon to start in Auckland. For more information and to find out how to join a course go to


The Eat Well Plate
If you want to get the balance of your diet right, use the UK Food Standards Agency's eatwell plate. The eatwell plate makes healthy eating easier to understand by showing the types and proportions of foods we need to have a healthy and well balanced diet. Click the plate to view:

Click here to see the bigger plate

Close the window when you have finished - this page will be sitting behind.


Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Older People: a background Paper

In January 2013 the Ministry of Health published Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Older People: a back ground paper aims to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, reduce obesity, and supports the Health of Older People Strategy (Ministry of Health 2002).

The background paper highlights how the Food and Nutrition Guidelines can be specifically applied to healthy older people. It also informs the health education resouces for the general public including Eating for Helath Older Eating for Healthy Older People/Te kai tōtika e ora ai te hunga kaumātua.
It is envisaged that the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Older People: A background paper will provide sound and practical advice for health practitioners including dietitians, nutritionists, doctors, nurses, primary health care providers, health promoters, and others working with older people in the practice of healthy nutrition.


New Zealand Nutrition Foundation
The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation Committee for Healthy Ageing
The committee, a special interest group of the Foundation, was initially established in 2004, to champion the cause for improving the quality of life of older New Zealanders, through nutrition and physical activity.
Its goals include, promotion of strategies for Healthy Ageing and encouraging consumers to make informed healthy and enjoyable food choices as part of an active lifestyle.
They publish a quarterly bulletin with articles of interest to all.  Recently they discussed the issue of salt in the diet of older people and the interpretation of the guideline for moderate use of salt in the diet.
To read this or any other article of interest or to view their latest newletter visit the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation website.


Healthy Eating - Healthy Action, Oranga Kai - Oranga Pumau
'Healthy Eating - Healthy Action, Oranga Kai - Oranga Pumau' was launched by the Minister of Health in March 2003. The strategy was developed to guide efforts to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and reduce obesity. The documents are available online from the Ministry of Health website and you can order your free copy by e-mailing Wickliffe Press or phone 04 494 2277.



Some popular websites for cooking are the following:

And try these websites if you are cooking for one or two:


Quick Reference Guide


Maintain healthy teeth and gums, ensure dentures fit properly

Eat a variety of foods:

  • High in fibre
  • 5+ a day fruit and vegetables
  • dairy products per day
  • choose food low in salt, fat and sugar
  • drink at least 1 litre of fluids a day (excluding tea and coffee)
  • alcohol in moderation

Make meal times a social time if possible

Have pre-prepared meals handy to enjoy

Your dentist

Age Concern 

- Eat Well-Live Well Workshops

- Pre-prepared meals information

Arthritis Foundation 

- Community dietician

- Community Health Service 

Heart Foundation 

Diabetes New Zealand

Meals on Wheels 



Websites of Interest

  • Agencies for Nutrition Action (ANA), is an incorporated society established in 1992, with six founding members, the Heart Foundation, Cancer Society, Te Hotu Manawa Maori, National Diabetes Forum, New Zealand Dietetic Association and the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation. The Pacific Island Food and Nutrition Action Group, New Zealand Recreation Association and the Home Economic and Technology Teachers Association of New Zealand have also recently joined. Sport and Recreation New Zealand and the Ministry of Health are observer members of ANA. ANA's mission is to work cooperatively to support New Zealanders achieve and maintatin a healthy weight throughout life through good nutrition and physical activity. They produced regular newsletters that can be view from their website.
  • The New Zealand Heart Foundation has a selection of cookery books for sale as well as lots of other useful information and a list of interesting links to other Websites.
  • The New Zealand Cancer Society site has good information on ways of eating to minimise the risks of contracting this disease.
  • The 5+aday site has recipes and information about the importance of having lots of fruit and vegetables in our diets. The American equivalent site has a link to fruit and veggies more matters which allows you to search on the name of any fruit or vegetable to find out more about it - even its availability in NZ!
  • The Nutrition Centre of the Everybody website gives guidelines on healthy eating as well as on diet for specific conditions and food allergies.
  • The American Federal Consumer Information Center has a list of articles on healthy eating.
  • Canterbury Health Info has some useful Healthy Eating for Older People Brochures
  • Katom which is an american restaurant supply company has a very good page on the use of thermometer to protect your health and it includes a section on the use of thermometers at home.





Alcohol and Drugs


Bowel Cancer
Carers Page




Elder Abuse

Falls Prevention

General Medical
Grief and Loss


Home Support

Intimacy and Sexuality

Living with Disability


Memory Loss and Dementia

Men’s Health



Physical Activity and Exercise
Skin Cancer


Smoke Free

Sun Smart


Women’s Health