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Your Meals Blog


Will the NDIS Really Pay for Food? Meal Preparation and Delivery for NDIS Participants

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

The introduction of the NDIS in Australia has changed the lives of many Australians with disabilities for the better.

The NDIS extends the idea of disability support outside of basic medical needs, towards a more fulfilling life. An NDIS plan also helps participants gain a better quality of life, function more independently and achieve their personal goals. As part of this approach, the NDIS can cover meal preparation and delivery for participants who qualify.

One of the reasons I started Your Meals (formally Ketolicious Kreations) is that I believe everyone should have access to delicious, life-affirming, healthy food that suits their body and their needs – not just a standard definition of ‘healthy’ that may or may not be right for them.

Knowing that the NDIS offers assistance with the cost of preparation and delivery of meals is a huge step forward, particularly when participants have the freedom to choose their own NDIS approved food service provider.

What food preparation and delivery options are funded by the NDIS?

Technically, the NDIS Plan doesn’t cover the food itself – what it funds is the process of cooking, packaging and delivering meals for NDIS participants.

Essentially, if you’re eligible, the NDIS will pay for the cost of food preparation and/or delivering that food to you. However, NDIS doesn’t cover the cost of the ingredients, which can impact the way you pay your NDIS food service provider.

There are two different ways to get NDIS funded meals: either purchasing ready-made meals or hiring an in-home meal preparation service.

Getting ready made meals under the NDIS means your payment will be divided – with a cost of approximately 20% or 30% paid by the participant to cover ingredients, while the remaining 70% or 80% is funded by the NDIS.

On the other hand, if you use an NDIS approved in-home cooking service, you or your supports handle the supply of ingredients, so the whole amount paid for the cooking service is what’s funded by the NDIS.

Which NDIS line Items apply to a meal preparation service?

Wondering if your NDIS plan covers meal preparation services? The good news is that NDIS meal preparation can fall under six different line items, not just the one. Engaging an in-home cooking service helps build valuable life skills such as budgeting, planning, computer skills, community skills, networking, and more.

For this reason, meal preparation services are available to a range of different NDIS participants and plans. An in-home cooking service like Your Meals can assist with a variety of assistance and capacity-building needs.

Below, we will outline the support categories in-house cooking services fall under. This should make it easier to understand what you are entitled to under your plan.

Here are some of the NDIS line items that apply to meal preparation services:

Category: Core - Assistance with Daily Life → Preparation and Delivery of Meals

Line Item: Assistance with the Cost of the Preparation and Delivery of Meals (01_023_0120_1_1)

To meet the daily needs of the Participant and enable them to live independently, this support assists with the cost related to the preparation and delivery of meals. This ensures the participant is maintaining a fresh and nutritious diet to support their overall wellbeing.

The NDIS states two requirements: that Participants are unable to prepare food themselves; and they’re not receiving any other supports to meet this specific need (eg. other in-home support arrangements that include meal preparation). As of 1 March 2022, the NDIA no longer requires quotes for meal preparation and delivery, simplifying access to this support.

The previous code (Code 01_022_0120_1_1) can still be claimed if included in a Participant’s plan.

Category: Core - Assistance with Daily Life → Daily Personal Activities

Line Item: Assistance with Self-Care Activities (Code 01_011_0107_1_1)

A self-care routine is an important daily activity, such as food and nutrition. This line item is designed to help a Participant live autonomously or develop the necessary skills to do so. When a Participant uses our meal preparation services, we supply them with fresh and nutritious meals. This ensures they are eating a healthy diet and taking part in the daily activity of meal preparation.

Category: Core - Assistance with Daily Life → Self-Management Capacity Building

Line Item: Self Management Capacity Building (Code 01_134_0117_8_1)

By placing a booking with Your Meals and preparing for our visit, the Participant will employ useful self-management skills. In the process of placing a booking and preparing for the delivery, the Participant will learn how to manage their budget, prepare their kitchen, plan their meals and more.

In the process of making a booking and ordering groceries for their cook-up, the Participant will further develop their self-management capacity. We provide a list of ingredients required for the meals selected, giving the Participant the opportunity to manage their budget and make grocery selections. This helps practice self-management skills, such as choosing between brands and financial concepts such as purchasing in bulk.

The Participant will also learn to prepare their kitchen for the preparation of their meals, giving capable participants the opportunity to organise their living space for our cook’s scheduled visit.

Category: Capacity Building - Increased Social & Community Participation → Development of Daily Living & Life Skills

Line Item: Skills Development and Training (Code 09_009_0117_6_3)

By placing a booking with Your Meals and preparing for our visit, the Participant can build some fantastic skills for social and community engagement. By booking our services and customising their meal preferences, our staff help the Participant develop their decision-making and communication skills.

Shopping for groceries online or in person helps practice essential skills like budgeting, decision-making and understanding the value of money, as well as navigating the internet. Our visits are another opportunity for valuable social engagement - Participants are able to watch the meal preparation process, as well as welcoming and conversing with our cook.

The Participant will also gain valuable daily living and independence skills, including using the microwave to heat their nutritious prepared meals.

Category: Capacity Building - Improved Daily Living → Other Supports

Line Item: Assistance with Decision Making, Daily Planning and Budgeting (Code 15_035_0106_1_3)

When the Participant utilises our meal preparation and delivery services, they build long-lasting skills relating to decision making, planning and budgeting. These are essential daily living skills that improve the Participant’s capacity to live independently.

By employing our meal services, the Participant will need to use daily decision-making skills to decide which meals they are going to select, and which meals they are going to eat, freeze or keep fresh each day.

Scheduling the booking date and time of their delivery also involves planning and scheduling skills. The Participant will also develop financial literacy and computer skills through completing the grocery shopping to prepare for their in-house cooking appointment.

Line Item: Skill Development and Training to Increase Independence, Including Public Transport Training (Code 15_037_0117_1_3)

By booking our services, Participants will develop key areas of their independent living skills. Our staff can assist Participants in making decisions around daily living, including which meals to order and how to store them.

When Participants handle the budgeting and additional shopping requirements for their meal delivery, they also learn valuable money skills, such as independently handling their budget and choosing between grocery options.

If a Participant has to travel for their grocery shopping, they can also practice public transport skills to further increase their independence and community interaction.

Who is eligible for food delivery under the NDIS?

To be eligible for a cooking service or food delivery under the NDIS, your NDIS plan needs to include one of the relevant Core or Capacity Building support category items.

Now, this is where it gets technical.

From 1st July 2020, NDIS plan participants with a new plan were required to get a quote for meal preparation and delivery services. This has been reviewed and as of 1st March 2022, the NDIA no longer requires a quote, making the process for this line item much simpler.

If your NDIS plan started before that, you can still claim food preparation & delivery under flexible Core Supports funding, the same as before.

If you feel that meal preparation and delivery would benefit you but this isn’t included under your current NDIS plan, I encourage you to follow up with your plan manager or provider. If you have an upcoming NDIS review, emphasise how meal preparation and delivery on your NDIS plan would help you achieve your key goals, such as:

  • Helping you gain independence or remain independent

  • Improving your overall health and wellbeing

  • Helping you participate more in daily activities

If you need guidance, an NDIS mentor such as Im Online can help you navigate this process.

Is the full cost of food delivery covered by the NDIS?

Food preparation and delivery is funded by the NDIS, but you will need to pay for the actual ingredients used. When using a meal delivery service, this is calculated based on around 20% of the total cost for ingredients (paid by the participant) and around 80% for cooking, packaging and delivery (paid by the NDIS plan).

When using a meal preparation service or cooking service, the price charged is solely for the service, so you won’t need to worry about calculating the difference.

Does the NDIS cover meals for special dietary requirements?

Under the NDIS, you get a choice in which cooking service or meal delivery company you choose. This means you’re able to choose a provider that suits your specific needs, including allergies, food intolerances and any other dietary requirements.

When you choose an in-home cooking service rather than ready-made meal delivery, you get even greater control over the way your meals are made and the ingredients used. If you have specific dietary needs or preferences, a meal prep service for people with disabilities or a general in-home cooking service could be a great option to suit your NDIS plan.

How can I get meals prepared under the NDIS?

Both plan and self-managed participants may be able access support in meal preparation, including an in-home cooking service such as Your Meals.

If you’re eligible for food preparation and delivery support in your NDIS plan, you can choose your own meal service provider, and options aren’t limited to specific cooking services for people with disabilities.

The NDIS line item for food preparation and delivery is “subject to quotation” – meaning you do need to submit a quote from a service provider to have it approved. If you get in touch with an NDIS service provider for food or cooking support, the service provider will be able to issue a quote or invoice for use in making an NDIS claim.

Why is a cooking service helpful for NDIS participants?

Opportunity for skill and capacity building

There are a variety of skills that participants can gain by using an in-home cooking service such as Your Meals.

It’s about much more than just fresh, nutritious meals - the cook-up process provides plenty of opportunities to build capacity for independent living. At every stage, there are valuable skills to practice: from making a booking and choosing meals, through to shopping for groceries and welcoming our cook into their home on the day.

Regular cook-up appointments help NDIS Participants establish and maintain valuable community networks. From skills development to social support, our service can help reduce anxiety and build confidence for NDIS Participants.

Even better news: the range of skills developed means meal preparation can be covered under a range of NDIS line items. If you are unsure if your plan will cover the cost of the in-home cooking service speak to your plan manager, NDIS or contact an NDIS mentor such as Im Online who can help you with your plan.

Simpler payment arrangements than pre-made meals

When purchasing pre-made meals under the NDIS, the NDIS covers food preparation but not the cost of ingredients, requiring the costs to be divided up and calculated. When choosing a cooking service under the NDIS, the entire amount paid is for food preparation, keeping things simple.

Using a cooking service makes the payment process more straightforward, meaning the entire payment is for the cooking process and packaging of meals.

Customise meals as much as you want

When using a meal prep service or in-home cooking service, every meal we prepare is customised to your requirements. We put the choice back in your hands to decide what you want to eat, something everybody should have the chance to do.

How is a cooking service better than pre-made meal delivery? When meals are prepared especially for you, you can make those little changes to ensure you’re eating food you’ll really enjoy. When ordering ready meals or frozen meals, you’re unable to make any changes to get the flavours, textures and presentation you’d really like to have.

At Your Meals cooking service, we accommodate medical conditions, dietary requirements and preferences, from the common to the unusual – we don’t judge! Whether you have a nut allergy, prefer beef over lamb or just can’t stand coriander, the meals I cook are based around your preferences.

Choose your own ingredients

Allows greater flexibility in choice, quality and cost of ingredients. While some people prefer organic vegetables and grass-fed meats, others want to keep their food budget minimal and go with the home brand or bulk buy options. If you have specific brands or varieties you like, you’re able to make those choices – because NDIS support should be all about the freedom to choose.

This also enables you to make those little adjustments to meals, like getting gluten free pasta in your spaghetti bolognese (rather than a delivery service which could offer the wheat pasta only, without the option to switch it).

Fresh meals rather than frozen

With a cooking service, meals are made fresh for you on the day, not pre-made, stored and shipped to you. At Your Meals our meals are also freezer friendly, offering the best of both worlds – keep some in the fridge and some in the freezer for later, helping avoid waste if you don’t get around to eating everything.

A cooking service combines the convenience of frozen meals with the benefits of fresh food, and it’s all prepared right in your own kitchen (and yes, we do the washing up too!)

Why is Your Meals great for NDIS participants?

Healthy food designed to suit your unique needs

At Your Meals, our meals are designed to be low in carbohydrates and high in protein. All meals are designed with plenty of nutrition from veggies and meat (or high-protein meat alternatives). Choose between low carb and keto friendly side dishes (like cauliflower rice and zoodles) or ‘carb it up’ with regular sides like rice or bread – it’s all up to you.

Our meals are suitable for ketogenic diets and low carb eating plans as well as regular eaters, and other dietary requirements are easily accommodated too.

We can cater for:

✓ Ketogenic and low carb diets

✓ Vegetarian

✓ Gluten free

✓ Dairy free / lactose free

✓ Nut free

✓ Egg free

✓ Sugar free / no added sugar

✓ Weight loss goals

✓ Weight gain goals

and many more different health requirements.

As meals are prepared in your home, you won’t need to worry about cross-contamination of allergens as in a restaurant or commercial kitchen.

Delicious, wholesome meals in real portion sizes

Many other ‘healthy’ meal delivery services achieve low-calorie meals through tiny portion sizes, poor quality food or using obscure health foods that really aren’t family friendly. At Your Meals, all my recipes are based on the meals I cook for my own family – every single one has been tested over and over by my children and the families of those we cook for.

Your Meals meal prep service creates healthy, nutritious meals without processed junk, added sugars or fancy health foods. It’s real, wholesome, nourishing food cooked specifically for you.

Health-informed and personalised cooking service

Our low carb and keto friendly meals can be an excellent choice for diabetics and those with other conditions that may make cooking more complicated. I can adjust the balance of protein, carbs and fat to better suit your needs and any dietary restrictions you have.

All meals I make are gluten free (unless requested otherwise) and many have dairy free and nut free options. If you’re unsure which meals are suitable for your health needs, get in touch – I can let you know which dishes suit your requirements and even customise a menu.

Convenient in-home cooking service

As long as you have a stove and an oven available, I can provide anything else that might be required. Even when using your kitchen equipment, I do all the cleaning up afterwards.

We offer a pay-as-you-go model with no contracts or ongoing commitments. You can try Your Meals for a single cook-up without being locked into a long-term arrangement, or we can put you in the calendar for regular bookings.

How does Your Meals cooking service work?

Your Meals offers personal meal preparation service in Perth and surrounds.

The first step is selecting the meals you want to order from our menu, including any changes (eg. dairy free or nut free options). Unsure if a meal can be made to suit your dietary requirements? Or want to discuss customisations before ordering? Feel free to contact us to discuss your needs before placing an order.

Choose your meals from our list of recipes, covering:

  • Breakfasts

  • Lunches

  • Dinners

  • Side dishes

  • Desserts

Each dish I prepare will be enough for four serves and you can choose either three or five different dishes – that’s 12 or 20 individual meals. All meals are suitable for freezing, offering extra value and flexibility and minimising food waste.

Once your booking is submitted you will receive an ingredients list to provide on the day. All of the ingredients I use are readily available at the supermarket, typically at great value prices – my meals are based off wholesome ingredients, without any hard-to-find or pricey health foods.

If required, I can arrange for your ingredients to be delivered to you prior to your cook up for an additional fee. I will send your list through to you for you to review and you can let me know what you need. I will require credit card information or funds transfer so I can place the grocery order for you.

When your appointment time arrives, the meals are prepared in your kitchen, using your ingredients and packaged to your requirements. I will also bring all my cooking supplies just in case there is something you don’t have. At the end, I leave your kitchen neat and tidy, like we were never there!

The result?

✓ Healthy meals packaged and labelled

✓ Neatly stored in the fridge or freezer

✓ Your kitchen and dishes left clean and tidy

Your Meals for NDIS Meals

If you’re a self or plan managed NDIS participant looking for a disability-friendly cooking service or supporting someone who could benefit from in-home cooking assistance, I’d love to discuss how Your Meals can help.

You can contact me via phone, email or the contact form on the website.

And the good news is that we’re not just for the NDIS! Your Meals was born to help people in Perth who hate cooking, don’t have time to make nutritious meals or want some extra support in achieving a healthier lifestyle.

Try us once or book in regular cook-ups – the choice is yours.

Our happy customers include:

✓ Busy families

✓ FIFO mums

✓ New parents

For more information, check out our Cookup Options or browse our delicious menu.

Related Questions

How is a cooking service better than buying pre-made meals?

As the customer supplies the ingredients, a meal prep service allows you to choose the quality, cost and type of ingredients used (eg. organic produce, budget conscious brands, avoiding allergens, etc). Having meals cooked to order by a mobile cooking service means you can customise the dishes to your liking, whether that’s due to food intolerances, health requirements, dislikes or preferences. An in-home cook offers a personalised service and ensures each meal is suitable for you, just as you prefer it.

Compared to buying ready meals or frozen meals, an in-home cooking service offers fresh food, which can then be frozen if required – giving you the best of both options.

Is the keto diet good for diabetics?

While health and nutrition is a very individual thing, research has shown that a ketogenic or low carb diet can be helpful for people living with Type 2 Diabetes. A diet low in carbohydrates can help manage blood glucose levels, achieve weight loss and manage heart disease risks. For more information on low carb eating and diabetes, including the factors to consider when trying a ketogenic or low carb diet, see Diabetes Australia’s Low carbohydrate eating for people with diabetes publication.

Disclaimer: This article is published in good faith and for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical or nutritional advice and does not take into consideration your individual health needs. Your Meals does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information.



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