15 Easy Recipes Based on the Updated MyPlate for Older Adults Guidelines

Caitlin Rogers, Director, Dining & Nutrition Services  |  June 3, 2016
MyPlate for Older Adults

Late last month, nutrition scientists at Tufts University, with support from the AARP Foundation, introduced an updated MyPlate for Older Adults icon and accompanying website. The new MyPlate highlights the nutritional needs for older adults and is based on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

According to the new MyPlate website, older adults should begin by making small shifts in food and beverage choices to improve their overall eating pattern, and then continue to build on them. Sticking with small changes, such as using spices to replace salt (try oregano!), will help make lasting improvements. The website also includes information about the importance of physical activity for older adults, tips for eating on a budget and recipes and menus

The revised MyPlate for Older Adults graphic features a plate with images of food divided into categories and visuals of the type of food that may fit within each classification. More specific food examples for each category can be found on the MyPlate site. 

Below is a roundup of our most popular recipes for each MyPlate category that makes cooking according to the new guidelines simple and delicious. 

The groupings include:

50 percent fruits and vegetables - those with deeply colored flesh have the highest amounts of nutrients. These are rich in important nutrients and fiber and generally low in calories. There are easy ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies, such as sprinkling frozen berries on the top of breakfast cereal or yogurt and keeping ready-to-eat raw vegetables handy on the table or counter. 

5 Popular, Easy Recipes Featuring Fruits and Vegetables 
1. Four Heart Healthy Green Smoothie Recipes
2. Three Simple Recipes for Stuffed Peppers
3. Roasted Red Pepper Dip
4. Chilled Strawberry Soup
5. Harvest Salad 

25 percent grains, many of which are whole grains. Whole grain and fortified foods are good sources of fiber and B vitamins. The nutrition scientists behind MyPlate note that almost any grain based product is now available in a whole grain version. It’s important to check the ingredient list to ensure a whole grain is the first ingredient listed. 

5 of Our Favorite Recipes Featuring Whole Grains
1. Three Simple & Delicious Quinoa Recipes
2. Healthy Hearty Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
3. Honey Wheat Mediterranean Pizza

4. 4 Easy Healthy Breakfasts with Quinoa
5. Healthy Sandwich Recipes For Easy Lunches

25 percent protein-rich food such as seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds, soy products and low/non-fat dairy products. Protein-rich foods provide many important nutrients and there is a large variety of healthy proteins from which to choose. 

5 Quick and Delicious Recipes Featuring Healthy Protein 
1. Three Simple Salmon Recipes for Weeknights
2. Kale and Tomato Eggs Benedict
3. Lemony Basil Salmon and Beet Salad
4. No Cook, Protein-Rich Meals for Hot Summer Days
5. Heart Healthy Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken

The icon also includes examples of fluid (such as water, milk, tea, soup and coffee); healthy oils such as liquid vegetable oils and soft margarines; and herbs and spices to replace salt and encourage a lower sodium diet.