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Preparing and eating a healthy diet

In this section you will find information about shopping for food, preparing food, eating, maintaining a healthy weight and drinking enough fluids.

Shopping for food

Shopping delivery

If you can’t get to a shop you can shop online and get your shopping delivered from:

Many supermarkets also offer wheelchairs or scooters to use in store.

Some village shops also do a home delivery service. Please contact your local shop and ask if they can do this for you.

There are shops across Devon selling food from Asia, India and European countries such as Poland. Search Google or to see what is near to you.

Help to get to the shops

Many towns have local friends groups which offer people support with a range of tasks such as doing your shopping for you, or escorting you to and from the shops so that you can buy food.

Transport to shops

If you live in an isolated area and struggle to use public transport you may be able to use community transport, such as Ring and Ride, to get to the shops. Visit to find out what is available near you.

Food banks

If you are unable to afford food and toiletries you may be able to get help from a local food bank. You can’t get food directly from a food bank; you will need to get a voucher from an outlet such as your GP, your district or town council offices or your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Find your local food bank and details of where to get vouchers on Find a Food Bank

Or alternatively, if you cannot find what you are looking for above please have a look at this Devon Directory of Voluntary Organisations

Preparing and cooking

Hot meals

Some companies can deliver frozen ready meals for you to heat in an oven or microwave, or can deliver meals hot to your door.

Here is one alternative meal delivery option where you can heat up your own pre-prepared meals:  About Wiltshire Farm Foods


There is a range of equipment which can make preparing food and drinks easier and safer. This can include devices for opening cans and bottles and equipment to help you safely make hot drinks. There are also bigger adaptations such as having kitchen work surfaces raised or lowered.

Take a look at our equipment advice website to get more information and advice about a whole range of equipment available to help you at home.

For more help and advice about equipment and adaptations contact the Independent Living Centre:

Phone: 01392 380 181

Sensory equipment

There is a range of kitchen equipment designed for people with hearing or sight loss, such as Bump ons (Bump ons are round, self adhesive dots. They can be used for easy and effective marking of every day items around the home) to mark different pieces of equipment and fluid level sensors to help with measuring. You can find out more and try some of the equipment available at the Devon In Sight Resource Centre in Topsham. Phone 01392 876 666 email or visit

Lunch clubs

Lunch clubs give you the chance to go out and enjoy a hot meal with others. They usually meet in a hall or community centre and some offer transport to the venue. You will usually need to contact the club in advance to check prices and availability and book your place.


Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential to maintaining a healthy weight, which is an important part of overall good health.

For general information and ideas about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, visit OneSmallStep.

The NHS Live Well website has lots of useful information about healthy eating and losing weight.


There is a huge range of equipment which can help you to eat and drink easily and safely. This can include specialist cutlery, plates and cups and protective clothing.

Take a look at our equipment advice website to get more information and advice about a whole range of equipment available to help you at home.

If you need more advice you can contact the Independent Living Centre:

Phone: 01392 380 181

Healthy eating for people with disabilities

People with disabilities may find it harder to maintain a healthy weight and may benefit from extra support and encouragement. People with learning disabilities in particular may need extra help to understand information and advice about diet, nutrition and cooking.

The NHS Live Well site also has specific information about weight management for people with learning disabilities. This includes shopping and cooking tips, physical activity advice and where to find more support. There are also links to easy read leaflets about diet and exercise.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have developed a brilliant range of specially adapted easy read cook books. The ‘Cook and Eat’ books have been written to encourage people with learning disabilities to make more meals with less help.

The Scope website publishes an A-Z of eating difficulties to highlight potential issues around mealtimes for either children or adults with cerebral palsy.

Healthy weight

The NHS Choices website has lots of information about safe ways to lose weight and develop healthier eating habits. Visit to see the NHS 12 week weight loss plan, check the calorie content of 150,000 different foods and drinks and find healthy meal ideas.

Unexpected weight loss can be a sign of illness, find out more from NHS Choices at and raise any concerns with your GP.

Eating disorders

You may have an eating disorder if you focus excessively on your weight and shape, which leads you to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to your health. Find out more about the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder and the types of help available at


If you would like to take the first steps toward a healthier lifestyle and need a little support, try the OneSmallStep healthier lifestyle service.

Drinking fluids

Dehydration (not drinking enough fluids) can often affect older people as we are less aware of feeling thirsty as we get older. We can also become dehydrated because of a physical or mental illness or health condition or as the result of taking some medications.

You can get useful information about recognising, treating and preventing dehydration from NHS Choices at

Meal planning

Planning and budgeting for meals can seem complicated and time-consuming, especially if it’s something you haven’t done before. There are lots of useful resources available to help you.

BBC Good Food has a seven-day guide for healthy family suppers. Visit

Love Food, Hate Waste has some two week meal planners and tips on avoiding waste. Visit Love Food Hate Waste – Recycle Devon

Food writer Jack Monroe has tips on meal planning and budgeting and a huge range of cheap, healthy recipes. Visit:

Eating well with diabetes

If you have diabetes and are worried about eating a balanced diet which meets your needs get more information, meal plans and recipes from Diabetes UK at

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