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Nutrition and eating well

What is good nutrition and eating well?

It is important to eat well and regularly and to drink plenty of fluids to stay healthy. Eating well helps you stay active and get more out of life. A healthy diet can also improve your physical and mental health. If you are struggling to eat healthily, manage your weight, or make meals for yourself at home, there is support available.

A healthy, balanced diet contains a variety of foods, including:

  • Plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Plenty of starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice
  • Some protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs and lentils
  • Some dairy foods
  • Not too much fat (especially saturated fat), salt and sugar
  • Plenty of water or other fluids (at least 4 pints a day)

Eating and conditions, illnesses and ageing

As you age, your digestive and immune systems may become less efficient. It is important to eat well and nutritiously to get the most out of your food. If you have health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis or high blood pressure, your doctor or dietician can help you understand if you need to make changes to what you are eating. Loss of appetite can be a symptom of some illnesses and mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. If you experience long-term appetite loss, speak to your doctor about it.

Visit the NHS site for more information

Poor appetite

Exercise can help you avoid developing health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and mental health difficulties such as depression. It can also increase your appetite. Small meals or snacks, rather than large meals, could be more helpful if you aren't feeling hungry and your appetite is poor. Exercise will also help improve your appetite.

If you need to lose some weight

Eating meals that are made up mainly of wholegrain foods, vegetables and fruit will help the weight come off slowly and gradually, which is the healthiest way to do it. If you need support to lose weight, the Wellbeing service is available across the county. 

Difficulty preparing meals

Cooking for yourself can sometimes be difficult. If you can’t open tins, stand for long periods or pour the kettle, there are many pieces of equipment that could help you. Have a look at the equipment and telecare page for some ideas. If you can no longer shop, you could have your shopping delivered to your house or consider having meals delivered.

Living alone

If you live alone, cooking a meal for one can sometimes seem like an effort. Sharing a lunch with someone once or twice a week, going to a café or pub now and again or joining a lunch club could help. Visit the Local groups and activities section to see what is available near you (some offer transport).

Meals on Wheels and other services

Meals on Wheels

The Meals on Wheels service in West Sussex is delivered by apetito services. Meals can be booked for short periods or longer term. apetito services offers a wide selection of Nutritious meals & desserts 7 days a week, 365 days a year to suit a variety of dietary requirements. Meals will be delivered hot between 11.00 am - 2.00pm. All meals (excluding salads) will be cooked en-route in specialist Chefmobile vehicles and delivered in sectioned foil trays.

Deliveries are made by professional drivers, all of whom are Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) checked and carry identification badges. This service not only provides nutritious meals but also makes sure older people have contact with people who conduct a brief Safe and Well check upon delivery. The service is available to all West Sussex postcodes.

Phone: 01903 718893

Prevention assessment teams (PATs)

PATs are teams of health advisers, social care workers and staff from the voluntary sector that support people in West Sussex to stay healthy and remain independent. For further information, see the Prevention assessment teams page .

Local Wellbeing hubs

Wellbeing hubs provide services to support lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, drinking less alcohol, stopping smoking or taking more exercise, and help people to manage long-term conditions. For further information, see the Local Wellbeing hubs page.

Further Information

Other companies who will deliver meals to your home can be found in the Products and services area.

If you have difficulties preparing or eating food, you could get advice from the Disabled Living Foundation.

If you have difficulty making meals or managing at home, you can phone West Sussex County Council’s Adults’ CarePoint to ask for an occupational therapy assessment. You can also ask for a reassessment if your condition has changed significantly.

Phone: 01243 642121
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm (excluding bank holidays).

Last reviewed: 12/02/2019

Useful links:

Nhs choice

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