Does Dylan Alcott’s Able Foods get a Nutritionist’s tick of approval?
Dylan Alcott’s a gold medallist, multiple grand slam wheelchair tennis player, entrepreneur, disability advocate (phew), and now, he’s added another string to his bow – co-founder of accessible food company, Able Foods.
Able Foods are all about providing affordable, quality and accessible ready-made meals to people with a disability – all co-funded by the NDIS. They also pride themselves on hiring employees who have a disability. Which, of course, we get right behind!
Dylan and his co-founders say:
[We] have lived experiences with disability and understand the challenges people with disability can often face trying to access fresh and healthy food. This is where the idea stemmed, we wanted to find a solution to the food access problem and build an inclusive company that not only offered fresh and healthy food but, but one that hired and championed people with disability.
Their current menu has 30 different meal or snack options such as Chicken Schnitzel, Beef Burrito Bowl and Vegetable Taco Hash to choose from, and if you pop into your local Coles, you can also find their baked beans in microwavable pouches.
We love a good road test, so Able Foods kindly sent their meals for one of our Marketing gurus (who also moonlights as a qualified Nutritionist) Alix, to try them out. And, here’s our thoughts.
We love that a big focus around the Able Foods meals is accessibility. The meals all come in easy-to-open, microwavable containers and the lids even contain Braille stickers, about time – right?!
For those who have chewing or swallowing difficulties, Able Foods offers a selection of meals that have been blended, pureed, chopped or mashed (called texture modified meals).
And as a bonus, the meal containers are recyclable and handy when you’re on-the-go.
Don’t try this with their baked beans at home. It could get very messy!
Often when you think of pre-made meals, you think small portions, unidentifiable meat, and blandness. Able Foods are not those things. All the meals we tried were yummy, had fresh ingredients that weren’t overcooked, and were a good size.
They’re also inclusive. Able Foods’ menu caters for gluten free, low FODMAP and dairy free, so you’re bound to be able to find something you’ll enjoy.
And while we found the meals quite filling, if you’re used to larger meal sizes or you’re a very active person, you can easily pair the meals with a piece or fruit or a bread roll, etc.
By choosing a variety of meals over a 7-day period, you’ll receive a good selection of different proteins, grains and plant-based diversity – many of the meals provided up to half the recommended daily intake of veggies.
For much-needed extra fibre, though, Alix suggests pairing the meals with one of their fruit boxes or baked beans. Most Australians don’t eat enough fibre to maintain a healthy digestive system, so this is super important!
If you’re getting most of your meals from Able Foods, Alix also recommends choosing a wide variety to make sure you’re getting adequate protein, fat, carbohydrates, iron, and other essential nutrients you need to live well – especially if choosing vegetarian options.
What was our favourite meal? A tie between the Chicken Pad Thai and Pumpkin & Kale Risotto. Both were fresh and tasty.
And would we recommend them? Yep!
If you’re looking for an accessible, inclusive meal delivery service, or you’re just not a fan of cooking, Able Foods might be an good option for you. They provide a great variety of well-balanced meals and good portion sizes. They cater for many dietary requirements, meaning you’re bound to find a meal you’d enjoy.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is for education and entertainment purposes only. You should always speak to a health care provider about your individual health needs before making any changes to your diet.
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