University of Massachusetts Amherst

It's MORE Than A Meal


Planning Healthful Meals & Snacks


If you have read the previous sections, you have already learned about good nutrition and about older adults’ special nutrition needs. Now you can learn how to apply this information to plan healthful meals for older adults.

This section will cover the following topics:

  • Using Food Labels to Make Healthful Food Choices
    Which foods have food labels on them? What kind of health claims (such as helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure) and nutrient content claims (such as low-fat or light) can be listed on food labels? How can you use the Nutrition Facts panel and the ingredient list as tools to select healthful foods to serve to your participants?
  • Modifying Recipes and Menus
    How can you reduce the amount of fat, trans fat, sodium, and sugar in recipes? How can you add more fiber, fruits, and vegetables to recipes? 
  • Preparing Healthful Snacks
    What are the benefits or snacking? What are some tips to choose healthful snacks?
  • Keeping Foods Safe for Older Adults
    What is foodborne illness, and how can you prevent it?
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    Here are answers to some questions that you may have about serving meals and snacks.

NOTE: You may also have questions about how to choose foods and beverages that are reimbursable within CACFP guidelines. This topic will be addressed in the Crediting Foods section of this manual.

in this section:

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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.