1800 Calories A Day? No Problem!

1800 Calories a Day? No Problem!

Proper nutrition is vital for muscle function, bone mass, immune function, cognitive function, and wound healing and recovery(1) yet older adults are the demographic population most at risk for poor nutrition(2). By eating enough calories and protein each day and eating foods from all of the different food groups, you can make sure you get all the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Energy needs depend on many factors, including age, weight, height, gender, and activity level. Check out this site to see what is recommended for you:


How much from each food group do you need to eat 1800 calories a day?

Protein: Choose 5 ounces of fish, poultry, lean meat, dry beans and nuts, and eggs

Grains: Choose 6 ounces of grains; look for whole grains such as brown rice and 100% whole wheat bread

Fruits: Choose 1 ½ cups of deep-colored fruits such as berries and melon

Vegetables: Choose 2 ½ cups of bright-colored vegetables such as carrots and broccoli

Dairy: Choose 3 cups of dairy, including low- and non-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese

Fats: These are ok! These foods, such as ice cream and butter, are fine in moderation but make sure these foods do not limit your intake of the other food groups.

Don’t forget about the importance of drinking enough water and getting enough physical activity- these are part of the food pyramid too! The most important point is that a well-balanced 1800 calorie diet involves food from all food groups.

Need More Ideas?  Check out these great handouts…5 sample 1800 kcal menus AND Mypyramid for 1800 kcals

Guest Blogger:  Jackie Geralnick


1) Ahmed T, Haboubi N. “Assessment and management of nutrition in older people and its importance to health.” Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2010 Aug 9;5:207-16.

2) Brownie S. “Why are elderly individuals at risk of nutritional deficiency?” International Journal of Nursing Practice. 2006 Apr;12(2):110-8.

3) Lichtenstein AH, Rasmussen H, Yu WW, Epstein SR, Russell RM. “Modified MyPyramid for Older Adults.” J Nutr. 2008; 138:78-82.

4) “Meal Plan: 1800 Calories.” RD411.com. 2010. Web. 19 Oct. 2010. http://www.rd411.com/

5) “MyPyramid Plan.” MyPyramid.gov – United States Department of Agriculture – Home. Web. 18 October 2010. http://www.mypyramid.gov/mypyramid/index.aspx