Malnutrition is widespread in geriatric patients, but often unrecognized and untreated. The main barriers against implementation of adequate nutritional care are seen in low nutritional awareness, lack of knowledge, interest and responsibilities but also in established procedures and lack of standard protocols for nutritional screening and therapy. It is, thus, the aim of the present publication to provide a comprehensive, practice oriented guideline for quality assurance of nutritional care of elderly people in geriatric institutions. The guideline includes routine assessment of individual nutritional status as well as the planning and implementation of appropriate interventions and measurement of results. The guideline is aimed at the prevention and adequate treatment of weight loss and malnutrition and is composed of the following sections: 1) screening, 2) assessment, 3) definition of aims, 4) intervention, 5) monitoring with adaptation of aims and interventions, 6) planning of nutritional care after discharge. Appropriate interventions aim, on the one hand, at the elimination of underlying causes of malnutrition and, on the other hand, at adequate and sufficient dietary intake to meet the requirements. Dietetic, nursing and medical actions should be implemented in a coordinated manner in order to use all options to achieve the best nutritional care for each patient. As a prerequisite for high quality individual nutritional care, several basic conditions have to be established, e.g. appropriate supply of food and beverages to meet patient needs, well-organized caring processes during meals, willingness of all involved persons for interdisciplinary teamwork, and well-regulated responsibilities. This general guideline has to be adapted to the local conditions of each institution and consistently put into practice. For implementation of the guideline, a nutrition team with members of all relevant professions should be organized with regular meetings. In the long run, increasing nutritional awareness and established routines for adequate nutritional screening and therapy will enable high quality nutritional care of geriatric patients with manageable charges.