The Top Things To Consider When Choosing Your NDIS Healthy Meal Service Provider
- 11 months ago
There are so many NDIS service providers out there (and growing!), so how are you supposed to know which services to choose, and which providers to go with! We’ve tried to make it a little easier to get yourself sorted with one of life’s necessities - fresh meals - straight to your home. If your NDIS plan includes (or you want it to include) meals delivered to your door, that will help promote independence and control within your own home, you’re going to want to know what to look out for.
Are you Eligible?
For the simple answer to this you just need to ask two questions:
1. Am I a registered NDIS participant? If not, you can apply to become one here.
2. Are ‘Daily Activities’ included as part of my plan? If yes, you are eligible for meal delivery to your home! If not, it’s something you can speak to your plan manager about getting organised for you.
Now let’s look at what you specifically want to be seeing from your meal provider.
1. What’s in itAbove and beyond everything else, you're looking for healthy meals delivered to your door. So the first thing you should be doing is checking ingredients lists. Are any of the below listed on any meals:
- Added artificial sugars and sweeteners - check out the list of 50 different names for sugar here!
- Crappy oils (canola, vegetable, sunflower....the list goes on forever). You want to be looking for ONLY coconut oil and/or olive oil.
- Preservatives - generally recognised by a number (flavour addition 221 anybody?)
- If you're coeliac or lactose intolerant/avoiding, are there ingredients that contain these elements.
- Sauces that would contain any of the above, including: soy sauce, worcestershire, store bought mayonnaise/aioli/ketchup/BBQ sauce.
The biggest danger we face as a society today is being marketed 'healthy' products that are actually making us fat. Know what to look out for, and avoid the nasties at all costs!
2. Serving SizeOne of the biggest frustrations with portioning is this 'one size fits all' mentality that seems to be getting about! News Flash - different people, of different genders, different activity levels, and different lifestyles, have different needs! If your healthy meal delivery provider is going with the one size for all approach, you may want to re-think whether they have your best interests in mind. All meals should be macro-nutrient balanced (with the proper breakdown of proteins, carbs, and good fats) and then portioned according to a person's physical needs, mainly
- Level of disability: A more mobile participant may need to eat larger portions than a more sedentary participant.
- Lifestyle: Are you super physically active (think Kurt Fearnley), or less so?
- Your Goals: Do you need to lose weight, maintain your current weight and energy levels, or pack on some pounds?
3. Choice & ControlThey do say that variety is the spice of life for a reason! And just because you have been diagnosed with a disability, doesn’t mean your right to choose what you eat and when you eat it should be compromised! You want to make sure
- There are a wide variety of meals on the menu, so you don’t get bored.
- New meal options are regularly added
- Meal options are rotated regularly
- You get to choose exactly which meals you want - what’s the point in paying to be sent things you don’t like?!
Remember - while health is the priority, you also need to enjoy what you’re eating - food is supposed to bring joy dang it!
5. Delivery MethodYou wouldn't be here if you weren't looking for a convenient and usable option for your meal delivery, so you should be considering:
- How do the meals arrive: Are they pre-cooked so you only have to re-heat, or do you need to cook it yourself (which kind of defeats the purpose!)? Are the meals fresh and regularly delivered, or are you going to get a box of frozen slop you’re expected to rotate out of your freezer for the next two weeks?
- When the food will be delivered: Will it be during the day when you be awake to receive it?
- Will the delivery driver take into account your instructions: Because the courier that insists on leaving food up a set of stairs, when you’ve specifically requested it left at the bottom because you’re in a wheelchair...well ain’t nobody got time for that! More importantly though, as we know we’re all human and make mistakes, does your provider work with the courier company to make them aware of specific deliveries that may require a bit more help? And are they willing to go the extra mile when a mistake has been made, to help get your food to you? All important questions to ask your Customer Care agent!
6. The Fine PrintLike anything in life, it's really important that you know what you're getting yourself in to. Always check to see if there are any
- Is the company legit? Check to make sure they have reviews from other customers, and definitely check to make sure they are registered as a provider on PRODA!
- Does the company comply with NDIS payment requirements for all plan types - Agency/Plan Managed, and Self Managed?
- Lock in periods or contracts
- Cancellation Periods: This is where they usually sting you unexpectedly - you sign up for repeat business not even realising that you have to give a month's notice to stop your deliveries.
- Now understandably all companies are going to have some sort of notice period - after all they have to order their produce, so you can't just pull out the day before your delivery is due. However anything longer than a week is really unnecessary.