University of Massachusetts Amherst

It's MORE Than A Meal


Nutrition Basics


This section is a starting point for learning about good nutrition. It will help you increase your knowledge about the following topics:

  • 2005 Dietary Guidelines1 and Pyramid 2
    What is the latest advice for nutrition and physical activity from the U.S. Government? Although most of this advice is geared toward Americans in general, it does include some specific guidelines for older adults.
  • Nutrients in Foods
    What are some key nutrients found in foods? What are the roles of these nutrients play in promoting health and preventing disease? Which foods and beverages are good sources of these nutrients?

After you learn these basics of good nutrition, you can move on to the next section to learn about the specific nutritional needs of older adults.

1 Information on the Dietary Guidelines has been adapted from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture,

2 Information on the Pyramid has been adapted from the MyPyramid food guidance system, 2005, U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion,

in this section:

Nutrition Basics pdf icon (download pdf of entire chapter)


Developed for the Massachusetts Department of Education Child and Adult Care Food Program by the University of Massachusetts Extension Nutrition Education Program. Permission is hereby granted by the Massachusetts Department of Education to copy any or all parts of this document for non-commercial educational purposes. The Massachusetts Department of Education, an Affirmative Action employer, is committed to ensuring that all of its programs and facilities are accessible to all members of the public. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.