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Enjoying dairy in our older years

If we struggle to chew food, don’t have the energy or inclination to cook, suffer with a poor appetite or find our clothes are becoming loose without trying, eating the right diet is more important than ever. Dairy products – and meals and drinks made from them – are nutritious choices to enjoy.

Choosing whole milk products rather than lower-fat versions is better if we’re unintentionally losing weight and/or have a poor appetite. It might also be better to eat smaller meals and snacks more frequently, rather than having three larger meals each day. Try some of the following ideas…


  • Porridge or instant oat cereal made with milk and topped with fresh or dried fruit
  • Cereal with hot or cold milk and a small glass of orange juice
  • Cheesy scrambled eggs and tomatoes on toast
  • Boiled egg with toast and cream cheese soldiers
  • Smoothie bowl made by blending thick and creamy yogurt with fruit and oats
  • Pancakes with banana, peanut butter and creamy yogurt

Lunches and dinner

  • Cheese sandwich or cheese on toast plus fruit
  • Cheese and mushroom omelette
  • Macaroni and broccoli cheese
  • Cauliflower cheese with bread or toast
  • Pasta dishes topped with a sprinkle of grated cheese
  • Fish pie or fish in a white sauce with mashed potato and vegetables
  • Cottage pie topped with cheesy mashed potato
  • Soup with a sprinkle of grated cheese and toast or a roll
  • Beans and cheese on toast or with a jacket potato
  • Boiled egg mashed with creamy Greek yogurt in a sandwich or with a jacket potato and cucumber
  • Risotto with added cream or soft cheese
  • Creamy curry made with yogurt served with naan bread or rice


  • Pot of thick and creamy yogurt
  • Pot of rice pudding
  • Milk jelly or flavoured jelly, served with thick and creamy yogurt
  • Stewed fruit or banana with custard
  • Egg custard


  • Pot of thick and creamy yogurt
  • Cream cheese on toast
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Toasted crumpets or muffins with cream cheese or melted cheese


  • Glass of cold milk
  • Mug of warm milk, with added cinnamon and honey to flavour
  • Cup of milky coffee or tea
  • Mug of hot chocolate or cocoa
  • Mug of malted milk drink
  • Fruit milkshake made by blending milk with fruit
  • Flavoured milk drink made by adding fruit or chocolate flavourings to cold milk

If you have a poor sense of taste, use stronger or mature Cheddar cheese to add flavour to meals and snacks.

If you drink coffee during the day, make it with hot milk rather than water. The calories in milk will provide some energy and the protein, vitamins and minerals will boost your nutrient intakes.


You can make milk even more nutritious by mixing it with skimmed milk powder. Add 2-4 tablespoons of milk powder to 568ml/1 pint of whole milk and mix well (mix the powder with a little milk first to make a smooth paste and then add more milk, mixing all the time until there are no lumps). Use in hot and cold drinks, on cereals, to make porridge, and in sauces. Once made up, keep it in the fridge to use throughout the day.

Milk powder can also be used to add extra calories and protein to milky drinks, cheesy sauces or desserts like custard and rice pudding.

Last reviewed: 03/2021
Next review due: 03/2023






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