Food for Elderly with No Teeth

Elderly bald man without teeth wearing dark grey shirt with a huge open smile on his face holding dentures in his hand.

Over 45% of adults over 75 years of age do not have functional dentition (1). Dentures only have 60-70% of the chewing power as natural teeth (2)

This makes it more difficult for the elderly to consume everyday foods. Let’s explore foods for the elderly that can be eaten without teeth. 

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Foods for the Elderly with No Teeth

Poor nutrition can lead to muscle loss, skin breakdown, and declined quality of life. Serving soft foods can promote intake for those without teeth.

Infographic of foods to eat without teeth: meatloaf, cream soup, creamed corn, crab cake, tofu, fruit cocktail, quiche, soup, avocado, cottage cheese, tuna, smoothie, meatball, scrambled eggs, salmon, mac & cheese, sweet potato, boiled egg, grits, banana, pot pie.

Here are some soft food ideas that are easy to chew without teeth.


Many protein foods can be especially difficult to chew. Here are some easy to chew entree ideas:

  1. Scrambled eggs
  2. Quiche
  3. Meatloaf
  4. Meatballs
  5. Spaghetti with meat sauce
  6. Salisbury steak
  7. Flaky, baked fish
  8. Tuna salad
  9. Tuna noodle casserole
  10. Chicken salad
  11. Egg salad
  12. Chicken or turkey pot pie
  13. Tofu
  14. Shepherds pie 
  15. Chicken and dumplings
  16. Salmon patties
  17. Crab cakes
Meal to eat with no teeth: salisbury steak with gravy on top next to mashed potatoes with gravy on top of a white plate that has a red ring around it.

If meats are too tough, use a food processor or blender to grind or puree. Get my favorite blender and food processor bundle on Amazon.

*This article contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. 


Many vegetables can be eaten without teeth if they are well cooked and cut in small pieces.

  1. Carrots
  2. Summer squash
  3. Green beans
  4. Broccoli
  5. Cauliflower
  6. Creamed spinach
  7. Creamed corn
  8. Zucchini


Well cooked noodles and many starchy vegetables make good sides for an easy to chew meal.

  1. Macaroni and cheese
  2. Orzo
  3. Mashed potatoes
  4. Scalloped potatoes
  5. Whipped sweet potatoes
  6. Baked sweet potato
  7. Potato salad
  8. Refried beans
  9. Grits
  10. Oatmeal
  11. Cream of wheat
  12. Cream of rice
  13. Soups


Chewing without teeth can be tiring. Smaller, more frequent meals and snacks can increase nutrition. 

Here are some soft snack ideas for the elderly without teeth:

  1. Applesauce
  2. Pudding
  3. Yogurt
  4. Cottage cheese
  5. Canned fruits
  6. Banana
  7. Peanut butter
  8. Soft cookies
  9. Ice cream
  10. Mousse 
  11. Milkshakes 
  12. Boiled egg
  13. Moist cake
  14. Smoothies
  15. Avocado 

Altered Diets

Lack of dentition does not mean that people should miss out on their favorite foods. Mechanically altering foods, so they are ground or pureed, can make enjoying foods easier. 

Check out these articles to learn more about altered texture foods: 

  1. Dysphagia Diet: The Basics
  2. IDDSI Explained 
  3. Pureed Foods for Older Adults

Practical Takeaways

Not having teeth can greatly affect chewing ability for some older adults. This in turn impacts nutritional status and quality of life.

Serving naturally soft foods, cooking items well, and cutting up food items can help promote adequate nutritional intake. 

List of easy to chew foods: eggs, quiche, meatloaf, meatballs, spaghetti, salisbury steak, baked fish, tuna salad, chicken salad, tuna noodle casserole, pot pie, tofu, shepherds pie, chicken & dumplings, salmon patties, crab cakes, soft well cooked veggies, creamed veggies, mac & cheese, orzo, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, refried beans, hot cereals, soups, cottage cheese, yogurt, smoothies, avocado.

7 thoughts on “Food for Elderly with No Teeth”

  1. I just got all my teeth removed because they were all rotting out of mouth at 58 I feel embarrassed and ugly I can’t wait to get dentures done you have any suggestions on dentures

    1. Hi Jody!
      I’m also losing all my teeth and in the process of receiving surgery to have what’s left of them(they’re painful) removed. I’ve always been told I had such a nice smile so I’m horribly self conscious! I’m trying to figure out how to make my duet more interesting for now, since I can no longer chew without extreme pain.

  2. Thank you for posting this article. I am a survivor of organic TBI and have found it hard find foods that are easy for me to eat. This gives me several options, of which d not thought, that can vary my diets flavors.

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