Good nutrition helps to maintain positive physical and mental wellbeing.

As we age, physiological changes make us more vulnerable to malnutrition. Effects of ageing include metabolism decreases, the absorption of nutrients becoming less effective and our immune system getting weaker which can increase risk of illness and can impact appetite. These effects of ageing make older people particularly vulnerable to malnutrition.

Good nutrition and its benefits

  • Good nutrition can prevent malnutrition.
  • It supports our bodies to function.
  • It reduces the risk of chronic disease.
  • It can improve mental wellbeing.
  • Good nutrition can reduce the risk of disability.

Nutrition programmes

Different Age Concerns run a range of nutrition programmes to keep older people happy and healthy. Practical nutrition programmes are run in Hamilton, Christchurch and Auckland.

Eat Well Live Well nutrition presentations

Its objections are to:
  • Gain information on the changing nutritional needs as we age
  • Learn ways to use pantry ingredients stocked in case of illness or lockdown
  • Increase knowledge on shopping on a budget.

These workshops are run by Age Concern Hamilton.

Senior Chef Cooking Classes for Older Adults

Senior Chef is an eight-week cooking course for people aged 60 and over (55 for Māori and Pasifika) who want to improve their cooking skills, confidence, or motivation around cooking for one or two people.
Each session is three hours long, and run once a week, usually starting at 10am. There are usually twelve people in a class.
Each class includes:

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

Purchase the “Cooking for Older People” recipe book – this book is provided free to those who attend a Senior Chef course but it is also available for purchase through the SeniorChef website.  
For more information and to find out how to join a course in Canterbury, go to

Just Cook 4 Healthy Ageing

Just Cook 4 Healthy Ageing is a shorter, four week hands-on nutrition and cooking programme for older adults. The practical and theory based programme aims to;
  • build cooking skills
  • improve motivation and confidence to cook
  • improve knowledge of healthy food choices
  • educate on how to cook meals on a restricted budget
  • address social isolation among older people

The Just Cook Recipe Book is available on the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation website and the programme is offered in Auckland.

For more information

Age Concern Auckland and Age Concern Otago also run excellent nutrition presentations. Some Age Concerns will integrate healthy eating information into their other health promotion activities like monthly meeting topics.

Enter your postcode below to find your local Age Concern and the nutrition programmes available near you, or visit our page on Nutrition in the A-Z health topics list.