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Accessible ways to buy and prepare food

Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
edited October 2019 in Coffee lounge

Today, 16th October, is World Food Day… are you hungry yet?

This year, the focus is #ZeroHunger which has been created by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Here’s what they had to say:

Achieving Zero Hunger is not only about addressing hunger, but also nourishing people, while nurturing the planet. This year, World Food Day calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone. At the same time, it calls on everyone to start thinking about what we eat.

But what if your disability makes it hard to buy and prepare food?


Back in September Ruby Jones wrote a guest blog post about her tips and tricks for independent living as a disabled person. Within this post she shared her kitchen gadgets.

The kitchen can be one of the toughest rooms when it comes to independence as a disabled person due to the countless hazards. Kitchen aids can be a great way to ease your concerns. Choppers, Nutri Bullets, kettle tippers and cutlery grips make cooking safer and easier especially if you have dexterity issues or painful hands.
What works for you? How do you cook a meal? Do you use a specific aid or are pre-chopped onions your go-to? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!
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Replies

  • AilsAils Member Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    We are lucky enough that our kitchen is big enough for my wheelchair and the worktops, cooker, etc, are at the right level for me as I find it easier to sit when preparing and cooking food.  I enjoy cooking and love my new toy which is my food processor.  I am quite fortunate that I can chop up any fruit or veg by hand myself, but realise the importance of many kitchen gadgets/tools for some people who may find this difficult.  The only thing I can struggle with at times is opening jars so I have one of those jar lid openers for this or I just ask my husband to do it if he is around!  Thanks for this @Chloe_Scope as I didn't even realise that there was a World Food Day!  Some good tips from Ruby also.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing this @Birdsnbees, some very useful tips!
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  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    That's great to hear @Ails, I imagine it is a great help to be able to use your wheelchair in the kitchen. :)
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  • AilsAils Member Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, it really helps me, @Chloe_Scope, as I wouldn't be able to stand and would get tired really easily.  
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    I meal plan. I use a weekly meal planner. Sometimes on special days we go out for a meal out e.g.for lunch. Thanks for the tips! 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I have a perking stool in the kitchen which really helps me @Ails. I am glad you have found something that works!

    A great idea @April2018mom!
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  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Chloe_Scope   Thank you for discussing this topic. I think it is important that those of our community need to try to cook themselves a meal.

    As if you start from scratch have simple ideas and solutions. You can find that you are in control of what your eating.

    I use many short cuts and do a lot of planning . Make a menu of sorts at the start of the week.

    Adjust this if I need to.  Saves on waste.

    I would add also step by step not sure how to do something. Write it down make a bullet points. 

    I do. Itemise all the procedures. Simple and easy.

    Examples being take Meat out night before Freezer. Take out of fridge on evening to come to room temperature.

    Make sure have items to use. Vegetables chopped, diced ready often do this use weekends to make ahead sauces and stores in the fridge or freezer in zip bags already to go.

    Blender my favourite kitchen gadget.  Put everything I need for a sauce in it.  Including frozen Onions my other necessary standby.

    Plus anything else use. Like using Garlic Powder, Onion Powder. Saves on buying Garlic.  Used this to flavour meat or vegetables.

    Add in Passata or any tomato products even own brand tomatoes sauces. Blitz up and your ready to use the sauce. Used this every time. Add in herbs and seasonings as well. Or frozen ice cubes of herbs.

    Another cheat.

    My other one I use is the food processor for grating cheese or using to slice vegetables . Used this a lot as well.

    Instant Ragu sauce dice fine Carrots, Celery Onions. To use Pasta sauce.

    Other gadgets, utensils are plastic ones and wooden ones on line. Amazon good place to start. If you need to look at pots and pans.

    Have bought a Kurrai this is a wok with a lid. Useful three sectioned one pan for those breakfast grills.  Saves using multiple pans.

    Have bought a slow cooker my time saver when cooking Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks or Legs saves using the hob and as I do not have an oven.

    Have measuring spoons for spices and seasonings, dried herbs.

    All the time one tip I can give is to use your freezer.  Ideas include making one meal and freezing another. 

    Chilli, Bolognese, Meatballs, Curry sauces, Ragu Sauces. Bread products buns, rolls, muffins.  

    Gnocchi, Herbs into Zip bags. Put into ice cube trays chopped up with water freeze. Then into zip bags. as is any opened bag of vegetables saves space. Tubs of butter. Use Tin foil to wrap meat in and label.

    Straight out of freezer into fridge .

    Use boxes plastic ones to store food and defrost food in.  

    All sorts of vegetables. Saves time diced. Leeks, Spinach cheaper than fresh, Butternut Squash.

    Green Beans.  Other ones I mentioned Frozen Onions and I buy Frozen Fruit.

    Have lots of tips and tricks to save time and energy. First think of your own abilities.

    Do some thing simple first and make a plan. Make it constantly then you will get used to cooking that recipe.

    Look on line make that recipe to suit you. Know a important point if it takes you a hour to do a meal if you have problems standing or being able not to concentrate.

    I have problems standing. So all my recipes are quick, easy and prepared before hand. Rest between cooking. If I have to.

    So if I am doing slow cooker no need to worry just does it for me.

    One pot Pasta quick easy and fast . So need to be alert and wake think what I am doing.

    I believe if you have every time do the same recipes you can get used to your own skills and talents. Know the pitfalls the problems you will encounter.

    I believe a good cook should be able to master ten recipes over a period of time.

    I eat Pasta a lot and lots of food from the Italian cookbook.  So this has taken me a long time to master.

    So please do not be hard on yourself. If it goes wrong.  You can know next time. The reason I suggested write down the recipe your doing.

    I have worked as a volunteer in kitchens even seen the Chefs and Cooks make mistakes.

    Even my good self make mistakes. I am aware I do so learn from them.

    Be clean in the kitchen . Have a sink or a bowl with soapy water. Wash your hands when using meat or any fish.

    Clean up after any meal wipe down. I clean up after I cook anything.. Antibacterial spray and wipes.

    Add also sometimes will wash up while cooking a meal as well.  

    Have a old kitchen towel handy  This can be disposed off to be clean. I have a lot of old tatty ones. Just useful . Or to use for lifting off lids. Off pans. Can be hot.

    Or use to wipe your hands if cooking something.

    Use zip bags, clip bags for meat to season.  Add meat into bags, seasons, spices oil and then to pan.

    The pans you use should be preheated you are in control.  Too hot turn down not enough heat turn up but be careful.  

    Too high heat can burn ingredients remember .

    Just be careful do not leave on the hob a long time. A pan takes a very short while to heat up.

    Put your hand over the pan if it is hot you will feel it.

    Meat always put in first. Sear colour and add oil. Vegetables do not need a lot of cooking.

    Potatoes and Carrots, Roots another tip is to pre cook these or pre boil these. You could use the microwave. Potatoes cut up as well Carrots, Roots.

    Not take long then to recipe you are using. Peppers and Greens short time cooking so add at the end.

    Frozen Vegetables defrost.  Boiling Kettle pour over a bowl contain frozen vegetables and drain. Use microwave for Frozen Spinach in a Pyrex dish.

    Drain well and squeeze out liquid. Use Microwave for any frozen vegetable. The add to your recipe.

    Few seconds.

    Please if any one has any questions. Need to know anything please ask me. Happy to share and care.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman









    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • AilsAils Member Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Glad to hear your perking stool helps you @Chloe_Scope.  I have had one in the past and very helpful.  Great tips above @thespiceman.
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    If it helps, I found this article on cooking useful 

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.thekitchn.com/cooking-with-a-physical-disability-171416%3famp=1

    My cared for person has a physical disability, so we use our kitchen table as much as possible. To simplify things, I ask him to mix things on the floor this is at his level. I include both kids in cooking lessons as much as possible. I find changing your preferences helps too.  
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    What about cooking aids for disabled people? If you contact the Disabled Living Foundation they might be able to help. How do you teach a paraplegic full time wheelchair user to cook? Currently I get him to mix things in bowls either on his lap in his wheelchair or down on the kitchen floor. When it comes to tasks like chopping and peeling, things are harder. He cannot stand for long so ideally he needs to do it sitting down. We are planning on making things this week for Halloween and Christmas as well. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you @thespiceman and @Ails!

    Some useful tips @April2018mom!
    Community Partner
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  • andy7andy7 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    i need to eat health thru having heart probsmbut i fight with my neuopathc probs to stand up,im exhausted 24/7,every limb n joint hurt,,Im worn out n teribly rearful all the time..
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @andy7 Pleased to meet you . Sorry to hear what you are going through.

    Please if I can suggest. If you speak to your local county council.  Have a community health unit.

    Wellbeing service. This is a scheme where those who are in a need to eat healthy .

    I used mine about 12 years ago because had addiction.  Useful, informative and can help with anything around meal solutions, advice.

    Please also ask me anything you wish to know or I can help with.

    I put a lot of recipes on this forum.  Have various qualifications including Understanding Health Part 2.

    Add to that lots of experience working in volunteering mainly kitchens.

    Plus other food and diet knowledge.

    Happy to be supportive anytime.

    Please get in touch.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman

     



    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • andy7andy7 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    ive spoke dozens of towns with councils,they dont do mealson wheels anymore n i cant get homehelp or sucjh like,,im ion boarder of merseyside and lancasghire,i get passed on to well being service who come up with nothing and also age concern,,i get no where,thankyou tho,,i used to get over 10 yrs ago,,but they no longer have the money to help
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2019
    Hello @andy7   Thank you for sharing with me.  Please can I ask have you ever considered a slow cooker.

    I do adapt recipes for those members of our community who have disabilities and conditions, illness.

    I mentioned a slow cooker because it a cooking pot you plug in.

    Has two switches one low one high. You just add Chicken or whatever you have or buying.

    You can buy small ones on line.

    Then you add in pre diced vegetables. Most Supermarkets do a casserole mix cover with stock or a mix of stock and tomatoes or even a jar of sauce.

    Switch it on and leave it will cook away. Usually around four to six hours have an instant meal.

    Please I am sorry if you have been experiencing a lot of problems.

    Please can I add sorry to hear about wellbeing service.  

    I know been a lot of problems with many councils it was just an idea.

    Please can I also ask have you contacted your GP. Might be helpful to consider speaking to them.

    Lots of surgeries and Doctors have nutritional advisors or dieticians they can refer you to.

    One other thing you mentioned you have a heart problem.

    Have you contacted the British Heart Foundation.

    https://www.bhf.org.uk..

    Might be useful to see if they can advise and help you.

    Please also can I suggest speak to our helpline . Speak to one of the SCOPE team.

    0808 800 3333

    Have you considered The Salvation Army for any assistance, advice and information.

    They do help with those members of our community who are having problems.

    https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk.

    Helpline 020 7367 4500

    Hope this helps. I am one of the community champions on the forum. If you need to know anything else please ask.

    Happy to advise be supportive.

    Please keep in touch just have care and concern as you are a valued member of our community.

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • andy7andy7 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    hi there,yes i do,i have to bring stuff into lounge to cut up n put in pot,but i only get up at 12 noon to 2pm,,,then il fall asleep for few hours in afternoon too,i end up half the time buring it n cant be bor=thered washing the pot,,,,i cant buy online as its a £25 basket ,i dont buy so much,,my gp is in sefon,i live in west lancs,so its cross the boarder...of counties by only 500yards,,oh gosh bhf are rubbish,,nvr helped at all.,pass me on to age concern,i have aspergers so its difficult to mix,ive had 11 heart attacks since i was 23,2 triple bypasses in 1992 and 2007.the 2007 they just admitted doing it wrong but too late to sue them,,my neuropathic probs  r not good,even holding everyday things give me pain,even typing,then set my heart into misbeating,,ever since friday its gone worse,since i had nuclear med heart scan....i lost my parner in 07/two n only frends in 08 and 2017,,so what friends i did have ive not got,mum was the biggest shock dying in 2014,im just cry n cry n have done for 4/5 yrs,im trying to help from psycholoist,but i find things todo very difficult n starts off my heart beat going off oddly.my bypass graft now has a heart beat....im just lost cause.bungalows faling dwn
  • andy7andy7 Member Posts: 19 Connected
    sory i find it difficult to hold a phone for long or type on a pc
  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Posts: 216 Member
    edited October 2019
    Early evening shopping at German discounters is quiet as I cannot stand Saturday heaving supermarkets- the noise and amount of people are overwhelming.
    Standing in a queue I get hip pain as well so quiet times best.

    Also If there are reduced items 7-7:30pm they sell off stuff and often it can be frozen and even cooked from frozen.

    I bake cakes, cook roast dinners- etc-but I find the process a bit of a battle without a timer I have in the past forgotten food and had a few near misses.
    Alexa now watches my food and is irritating enough that I don’t burn things any more.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @WhileIBreathIHope   Please can I ask do you not shop on line.

    Signed up to TESCO midweek saver under £4 a month.  You can shop many times as you like in a month.

    Midweek saver is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  Order shopping on line Monday for any of those days to receive.

    Not got TESCO look on line other supermarkets.

    I do the following may be of use to you.

    Do a stocktake a meal plan what I am going to buy.  Have a stocklist of every item, food and household do I need have I got.

    For one week often split the shop in half do one .  First week then again Second week.

    Means you have the essentials in all times.

    They carry the shopping into the kitchen help you unpack or use like I do some times say. Have my own bags and will help you fill them at the door.

    You can ask them to help you.

    If you have to make meals thinks of ways to use up the left overs.

    Left over vegetables make in to soup.  Use left over Gravy as stock bases with any vegetables.

    Buy a blender or a food processor useful for making soups, stocks and sauces. Get rid of veggies.

    Use and think about a slow cooker you can get different sizes.

    Look on line AMAZON. I know some members have a small one for them selves or their partner and a medium sized ones for family members.

    I use this my self for Chicken . Add in veggies some tomato passata, herbs and spices leave on and it saves a lot of hassle.

    Spend some time I use a weekend to dice, slice vegetables Carrots, Celery, Onions all ready for use. Keep in tubs fridge .

    Use a food processor slicer for Onions..

    Look at your freezer for ideas and savers. I buy bread rolls buns and muffins, any thing like that useful when any one wants a snack or need a quick boost of energy.

    Great for breakfast.

    Space savers use zip bags or clip bags for vegetables, fruit, frozen label . Also Bolognese, Chilli, Meat balls in a sauce in a zip bag or clip bag.

    Use tin foil to wrap meat in lot cheaper than plastic wrap and no freezer burn.

    Hope that helps you, have used a lot of this learnt from volunteering in kitchens and other places.

    Also my own personal experiences and health issues had to re educate my self with my diet and nutrition.

    You mentioned problems.

    Have you consider the Fodmap website. Have a look gives you all the foods you can eat if you have issues with IBS or other stomach, bowel complaints.

    Please if I can help with anything any ideas or wish to know anything please ask.

    Around food, nutrition and diet.

    Pleasure to talk to you.

    @thespiceman








    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • WhileIBreathIHopeWhileIBreathIHope Posts: 216 Member
    Hello @WhileIBreathIHope   Please can I ask do you not shop on line.

    Signed up to TESCO midweek saver under £4 a month.  You can shop many times as you like in a month.

    Midweek saver is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  Order shopping on line Monday for any of those days to receive.

    Not got TESCO look on line other supermarkets.

    I do the following may be of use to you.

    Do a stocktake a meal plan what I am going to buy.  Have a stocklist of every item, food and household do I need have I got.

    For one week often split the shop in half do one .  First week then again Second week.

    Means you have the essentials in all times.

    They carry the shopping into the kitchen help you unpack or use like I do some times say. Have my own bags and will help you fill them at the door.

    You can ask them to help you.

    If you have to make meals thinks of ways to use up the left overs.

    Left over vegetables make in to soup.  Use left over Gravy as stock bases with any vegetables.

    Buy a blender or a food processor useful for making soups, stocks and sauces. Get rid of veggies.

    Use and think about a slow cooker you can get different sizes.

    Look on line AMAZON. I know some members have a small one for them selves or their partner and a medium sized ones for family members.

    I use this my self for Chicken . Add in veggies some tomato passata, herbs and spices leave on and it saves a lot of hassle.

    Spend some time I use a weekend to dice, slice vegetables Carrots, Celery, Onions all ready for use. Keep in tubs fridge .

    Use a food processor slicer for Onions..

    Look at your freezer for ideas and savers. I buy bread rolls buns and muffins, any thing like that useful when any one wants a snack or need a quick boost of energy.

    Great for breakfast.

    Space savers use zip bags or clip bags for vegetables, fruit, frozen label . Also Bolognese, Chilli, Meat balls in a sauce in a zip bag or clip bag.

    Use tin foil to wrap meat in lot cheaper than plastic wrap and no freezer burn.

    Hope that helps you, have used a lot of this learnt from volunteering in kitchens and other places.

    Also my own personal experiences and health issues had to re educate my self with my diet and nutrition.

    You mentioned problems.

    Have you consider the Fodmap website. Have a look gives you all the foods you can eat if you have issues with IBS or other stomach, bowel complaints.

    Please if I can help with anything any ideas or wish to know anything please ask.

    Around food, nutrition and diet.

    Pleasure to talk to you.

    @thespiceman








    We shop early evening twice a month, my partner picks up bread and milk as needed.

    You may or may not be aware that supermarket prices are zoned and unless you drive to next town they are expensive and confirmed by relative working at local store.

    If Lidl or Aldi did home delivery I would jump at chance.

    I do cook stews in the winter as cheap and excess reheated next day or frozen.
  • mrbuttonsmrbuttons Member Posts: 221 Pioneering
    edited October 2019
    i have a pull chopper from qvc  under the brand name of Khun  Rikon, its like a mini hand operated food processor that has blades inside and you put the food you want to chop inside then cover with the lid and pull a string that rotates the blades quickly and chops the food finely. its brilliant. no more trying to chop stuff with knives that we cant hold.  no more trying to balance foods on a chopping board. i think you can get them on amazon, lakeland and JML too.
    it goes by many names but here it is...


    i swear by frozen veg and frozen fruit that the supermarkets sell but i cant get on with frozen chopped onions or green / red peppers that need to be chopped before use because the freezing process makes them soggy, not a problem for soups. but no good for frying or salads.
    also there are times when only a good ready meal just can't be beaten which is where M&S are hands down the best. Ocado are a good runner up in the ready meal market.. i think you get what you pay for in terms of taste, quality of ingredients and presentation. its worth paying a bit more for a better quality ready meal and having them only once or twice a week if you can. but nothing beats home made fresh food for nutrition.

  • mrbuttonsmrbuttons Member Posts: 221 Pioneering
    edited October 2019
    I have 2 slow cookers. 1 small one for cooking 2-4 meals for myself and a family size one for batch cooking and cooking large amounts of stuff that was on sale. I also cook a whole small chicken in it then transfer to the oven to get crispy skin.
    I put left overs in ziploc bags in the freezer they take up less space and are reusable.

    I use a small rice cooker from asda to prevent me wasting burnt rice. slow cookers are also good for making puddings loads of recipes online esp you tube.
    I love my sandwich maker for making quick cheese and mushroom toasties. Very filling and quick if you buy ready sliced mushrooms and grated cheese.
    Its worth checking what you have at the back of the freezer and chuck anything over acouple of months old, if you were going to use it you would have done so. No point using energy to freeze unwanted food that might be freezer burnt anyway. Frozen food can lose its appeal after a while so dont keep longer than necessary.

    I make a list for my carer who puts through the online shopping order for me and the delivery person takes it from the van to the kitchen. They are just brilliant. Pity there is a minimum order value but never mind its still better than going out to the actual shops.
    Talking about food has made me peckish now. Its1am, time for a snack.

    I'm thinking of buying certain things in bulk, dry stuff like rice and pasta, teabags etc are always on offer for mega big packs. Sainsburys had 1,000 pg tips for about £12.
    I was tempted but lack storage space. I might get the carer to shuffle some cupboards around for me. Ive also seen bulk offers for offices on tea and coffee on viking.co.uk, ebay and amazon. Might be worth thinking about.
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 683 Pioneering
    What  a brilliant  thread.  Thanks.  I try to have a FODMAPs diet plus eat organic, plus consider the planet.  Never tried delivery. 
    Do any of them do organic?

    Interesting that Asda lets you have food in hospital . 
    Yesterday Tesco's were saying they would go for a no-waste system.  You pay a deposit as a one off, for the container.   Just like old fashioned  milk bottles, it is returned for cleaning  and  sterilization,  then re-filled. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks everyone, some great suggestions here!
    Community Partner
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