Inspired Villages partners with nutritionist Jenna Hope for National Fitness Day 2021

At Inspired Villages we provide more than just bricks and mortar, we are committed to helping over 65s focus live healthy, independent lives for longer, by supporting their mental and physical wellbeing.

This National Fitness Day, we have therefore teamed up with nutritionist Jenna Hope to create a bespoke 7-day meal plan to help boost the wellbeing of over 65s as well as offer advice on the best foods to eat.

Jenna’s top tips

1. Ensure adequate protein intakes

Protein plays a crucial role in supporting the maintenance of bones and muscles. Degradation of muscle and bone is a natural part of the ageing process, however low protein intake may contribute to the acceleration of muscle and bone decline. It’s recommended to consume around 1g of protein per kg of body weight in older adults; for example, someone weighing 70kg (11 stone) would require around 70g of protein per day.

Protein sources include meat, fish, nuts, seeds, eggs, beans, pulses and dairy products. Protein uptake is more efficient when it is consumed in smaller amounts throughout the day rather than in one or two large meals.

2. Reduce total calorie intake

As we age our basal metabolic rate (the rate at which we use energy) slows down. This means the amount of energy required to maintain normal physiological function decreases, and so older adults may be prone to weight gain if they’re eating the same amount as when they were younger.

Additionally, physical activity tends to decline in over 65s which also contributes to a reduction in total energy required. Older adults may benefit from consuming fibre rich foods such as beans, pulses, fruits and vegetables to help keep them fuller for longer without adding lots of extra calories.

3. Support bone health

Alongside protein to support bone health, a few key micronutrients include Vitamin D, calcium and Vitamin K. Calcium is important for supporting bone mineral density in all older adults but is particularly important in post-menopausal women, who have lower levels of oestrogen. Sources of calcium include: dairy products, calcium set tofu, fortified milk alternatives, green leafy vegetables and nuts such as almonds.

Vitamin D is essential for absorbing calcium into the blood. Ensuring adults retain enough Vitamin D through the diet can be challenging as sources are limited to oily fish, milk, mushrooms and fortified products. Because of this, we mainly get Vitamin D from the sun; however, as the UK has limited access to the sunlight during winter, it’s recommended to supplement with 10µg per day.

Maintaining enough Vitamin K is also crucial for bone health, as this plays a big role in transporting calcium from the blood towards the bones. Vitamin K can be found in green leafy vegetables, soya beans and fermented products such as Natto.

4. Vitamin C to support immune function and dental health

As we age, our immune system naturally experiences greater stress, but consuming adequate amounts of vitamin C can help to support a normal immune function. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of Vitamin C and it’s recommended to aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. For older adults who struggle with chewing or swallowing, blending fruits and vegetables into a smoothie with natural yoghurt, milk and oats can be a nutrient dense way to get plenty of Vitamin C and calcium into the diet.

5. Focus on two portions of oily fish per week

Oily fish provides a source of omega-3 which is associated with supporting cognitive function, joint health and heart health. For older adults, canned salmon, mackerel and sardines can be an easy way to consume oily fish at home.

6. Limit foods high in salt

A high salt diet is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure which in older adults can cause stroke and cognitive decline. Where possible, avoid consuming ready meals and foods which are high in salt. For those cooking for themselves, try incorporating more herbs and spices that are packed with flavour instead of adding more salt. The recommendations are to limit salt intake to no more than 6g (1.4 teaspoons) per day.

7. Eat your berries

Berries contain polyphenols which can help increase blood flow and support brain health. Other sources of polyphenols include: olives, flaxseeds (which can be stirred into soft foods such as porridge or smoothies), dark chocolate and nuts. Ground nuts can also be used in soups and softer foods for adults who struggle with chewing or swallowing.


Inspired Villages and Jenna Hope’s weekly meal plan for over 65s:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Porridge with ground flaxseed and berries or banana

Scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast with mushrooms

Natural yoghurt with homemade berry compote (no added sugar)

Smoothie: 1 banana, handful of spinach, 2 tbsp oats, 300ml milk

Cottage cheese with fresh berries, ground nuts and cinnamon

Spinach, mushroom and cheddar omelette

Chia seed pudding made with milk. Topped with banana and cinnamon


Canned mackerel on wholegrain toast with roasted tomatoes and mushrooms

Leek and chickpea soup

Red lentil pasta with tomato and vegetable sauce

*Red lentil pasta is higher in protein and fibre than white pasta

Vegetable Quiche

Baked eggs in tomato sauce with aubergine and peppers

Jacket sweet potato with tuna and sweetcorn

Minestrone soup with butter beans instead of pasta

*Butter beans contain more fibre and protein than pasta


Pea and spinach risotto

Haddock served with mashed sweet potato and peas

Chicken stew served with quinoa

Turmeric and fish curry served with brown rice

Roast chicken or tofu tray bake with potatoes, green beans and onions

Meatballs on wholegrain pasta or brown rice served with roasted carrots

Baked salmon cakes served with butternut squash and swede mash and broccoli


Peanut butter on oatcakes

Stewed apple with natural yoghurt

Carrots and cucumber sticks with hummus

Guacamole with oatcakes

Boiled egg

Dark chocolate pieces with berries or dried fruit

Cream cheese on corn crackers


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