Healthy eating helps to improve our general health and wellbeing as well as our mental health. It is really important to try and have goals for eating a balanced and healthy diet. A healthy diet is especially important if you are living with a disability.
Here are our best tips for healthy eating when you are living with a disability:
Have plenty of variety
Variety truly is the spice of life. Try to have plenty of variety in your diet including:
- A variety of vegetables and fruit (you can even try mixing it up between fresh and frozen). ** BONUS TIP - Cook your vegetables with the least amount of water to preserve both nutrients and flavour. Steaming in the microwave is a handy and easy way to retain nutrients.
- Enjoy a variety of protein including fish, chicken, lean meats and eggs
- Vary your dairy. Mix it up with yoghurt, milk, cheese (if you have trouble digesting dairy products, choose soy, rice, or almond substitutes with calcium added).
In good company
Enjoying a healthy diet is more enjoyable when you share a meal with friends or family. Perhaps you could invite a friend over for lunch or take part in a shared meal with friends at school or the community services you are involved in.
Keep your food safe
Try to prevent food-related illnesses by keeping your food safe. Throw away food that is spoiled, and avoid foods that may be risky. Some foods may be harmful if they are undercooked, like chicken, meat, eggs, or fish. If you need assistance with finding healthy meals that you don’t need to cook yourself, ask your carer to look into our ready made meals that are delivered to your door.
Are you eating large portions at meal times? Try reducing these, even slightly. Fill up to half your plate with vegetables or salad. Alternatively, have one of our Good Meal Co meals. They are all portion controlled to ensure you are eating the right amount.
An important part of a healthy diet is staying hydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Having a bottle nearby or within easy reach makes it easier to keep hydrated and less of a chore. Try to replace sugary drinks with unsweetened sparkling mineral water, milk, or if you tolerate caffeine, tea and/or coffee.
Focus on how you feel after eating
The healthier the food you eat, the better you’ll feel after eating. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.
Be careful between meals
Make healthier choices when buying snacks. Try switching biscuits or chips for fruit or nuts or even a warm milk.
If you need more support making healthy choices, we recommend seeing your GP or medical professional or chatting with your carer to get further advice.