Food shopping and preparation

The way you buy, store, prepare and cook food may need a little advance planning when you have Parkinson's.

Here are some tips if you find shopping or cooking a challenge:

  • Plan meals in advance, making a shopping list of all the ingredients you need.
  • When planning meals, think about how long you can stand at a cooker without becoming tired.
  • At supermarkets, look out for special trolleys designed to make shopping easier for people with disabilities.
  • Consider buying ready prepared foods, such as frozen vegetables (they are just as nutritious as fresh) and tinned fish, meat or beans. Ready meals can save time and energy, as well as reduce gas, electricity and food wastage.
  • Keep a wide supply of food in your store cupboard and freezer.
  • If you don't already have one, consider buying a microwave. They're versatile and take only a few minutes to cook meals and heat up drinks.
  • If you like a nap in the afternoon, keep a flask on a tray so you can prepare a drink when you wake up. Drinking hot drinks regularly helps to keep you warm.
  • Contact your Parkinson's local adviser to find out more about shopping services or volunteers in your area.
  • You may be entitled to a meals on wheels service or home delivery of frozen meals. Contact your local social services or a social work department.
  • With support from family or friends, bulk-cook homemade meals and freeze them in individual portions.

An occupational therapist can give you more advice on all aspects of food shopping and preparation, including kitchen and shopping aids.

Find out more about occupational therapy and Parkinson's.

Should I buy special utensils?

There are many types of adapted utensils for eating and drinking available that may be worth considering. An occupational therapist can advise you on the right equipment for your needs.

You can find out more about this on our occupational therapy and Parkinson's page

An occupational therapist may also advise you on:


Special cutlery is available in various shapes and sizes. These utensils can be useful if you have reduced grip, weakness or tremor.

You may find the following helpful:

  • cutlery with the combined features of a knife and fork, or an all-in-one fork and spoon
  • special handles for cutlery that are extra-large, easy-grip (moulded rubber), extra-light, weighted or curved
  • foam sleeves, which can be placed over existing cutlery handles to make them easier to hold.

Cups and mugs

If you have a tremor, you may find special mugs will help you to prevent spills when drinking.

You may find the following helpful:

  • 2-handled cups can help improve grip and reduce the chance of spills. Special 'tumble-not' mugs are available with wide, non-slip bases and tall necks.
  • Using a sip or sports cup with a lid can stop liquids from spilling. If the sip cup is being used for hot drinks, it's important to make sure that the cup is made out of a material that won't soften or melt.
  • Nosey cups have a low cut-out opposite the position of the mouth when drinking. The cut-out allows the person drinking to tilt and drain the cup more easily with limited neck movement. These cups are made of plastic so are only suitable for cold drinks.


Several special plates are available if you find it takes a long time to eat or you have trouble getting food on a fork or spoon. The following may be helpful:

  • A 'stay-warm plate' may be useful if it takes you a long time to eat.
  • High-lipped plates are available that reduce spills and make it easier to get food on a fork or spoon. You can also buy plate guards, that clip onto your own plates.
  • A non-slip mat made from a special tacky material called Dycem can be placed under a plate or bowl to stop it from moving around while eating.

For advice on where to obtain specialised utensils, contact the Disabled Living Foundation on 0300 999 0004 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) or email [email protected] 


You can also buy items to help with opening jars and bottles. This equipment, and some others, can be purchased from shops specialising in disability equipment and living aids. 

We sell our own range of daily living aids in our online shop. You can also order a Daily Living Aids catalogue. Call 0844 415 7863 or visit our online shop.

Download PDF or order a printed copy

Diet and Parkinson's (PDF, 5.1MB)

We know lots of people would rather have something in their hands to read rather than look at a screen, so you can order printed copies of our information by post, phone or email.

Last updated

Next update due 2026 

If you'd like to find out more about how we put our information together, including references and the sources of evidence we use, please contact us at [email protected]