Eating Well

When you are caring for someone else, it is common to put your own needs second. This can impact the way you eat and the nutritional choices that you make. Quick convenience foods can seem like the best option, but it is important that you make the best choices to look after your long term health.

Am I eating well?

When you are caring for someone else, it can be easy to rely on quick convenience foods, which can be unhealthy. Whilst these are fine in moderation, it can become a regular routine to grab these foods, especially after a particularly long day, or as a treat, this may then lead to an unhealthy habit if you have them too often. 

Alternatively, sometimes you may be very busy with your caring role and commitments, resulting in you skipping meals entirely, meaning you don’t have the nutrition you need to fuel yourself properly. This can have a significant impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. 

How can I improve my diet?

Maintaining a diet of three balanced meals a day, with at least five portions of fruit or vegetables, will boost your energy levels, make you feel healthier and help you get through your busy day. The NHS Eatwell Guide gives a good overview of how to achieve a balanced nutritional diet. 

We understand that eating healthy can be easier said than done. Here are some tips to try and make it more convenient for you: 

  • If you need to prepare a meal for the person you care for, you could use it as an opportunity to make a healthy meal for you both. You could even sit down and eat together, making it a nice social activity too. 
  • It can help to plan your meals for the week ahead, and then buy the ingredients needed in advance. This can take the stress out of having to decide what to eat every day. Plus, if you know that you already have everything you need for the meal, you are less likely to either skip the meal or order a takeaway. 
  • Or you could try batch cooking, where you prepare food for multiple meals in one go. You could make a big pot of soup, stew, chilli or curry, for instance, then divide it into smaller portions and freeze them. That way you have a meal that is ready to grab and reheat on particularly busy days. This is just as easy as a ready meal, but is likely to be much healthier. 
  • If what is stopping you from cooking a healthy meal is not being able to find the time to go to the supermarket, why not order your shopping online? It can take a little longer the first time, but once you have set it up it can be much quicker and easier than going to the shop. Alternatively, you can get healthy meals delivered to your door from companies such as ‘Hello Fresh’ and ‘Gousto’. 

Can I make healthy meals on a budget?

Yes you can! With a little planning you can definitely eat well on a budget. There are many websites with budget friendly recipes, like this list from the BBC Good Food guide. Follow these tips when you plan your meals.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables are part of your 5 a day, these can be tinned, frozen or fresh. If you buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season, they can be cheaper. 
  • Protein can be the most expensive part of a meal, plant proteins like lentils, beans and pulse are a cheap alternative to getting protein into your diet. 
  • Wholegrain versions of carbohydrates are usually the same price as alternative and are good for your digestive system. 

How does what I eat affect me?

For factual information about nutrition, you can go to: – British Nutrition Foundation  

Video Tutorial: Wellbeing and Nutrition 

Do you have any other advice?

There is some more information specifically for carers below.


Document sheet: 


Good advice about nutrition here: Nutrition for carers and those they care for with Nutricia – June 2021