The Victorian Government named Alannah McKeown, who has down syndrome, as a Future Healthy Community Champion, as part of the state's initiative to create a heathier future for young people.
Ms McKeown said she wants to inspire young people, particularly those with disabilities, to "learn to cook easy healthy meals instead of takeaway food".
"If I had to cook dinner, I wouldn't know what to buy or what to cook or even how to plan a meal without help," she said.
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"People who have an intellectual disability like me find it hard to follow recipes unless they are very simple without too many steps.
"It takes a lot of practice to feel confident enough to try things on our own."
Ms McKeown has been learning to cook meals through Albury's Purple Chicken, a training cafe for young adults with a disability.
She said the training taught her the skills to lose weight and improve her health.
"My knees and ankles have been giving me grief, but it's OK now I can walk normally," she said.
"I've lost the weight and my knees and ankles are fine now."
Purple Chicken catering manager Tracey Kellock said Ms McKeown had been a great role model.
"It's not always easy when you don't have the education or the understanding around food initially to be able to plan and eat appropriately, especially when takeaway food is so cheap to buy," she said.
"But Alannah has shown her team mates what's possible and we now have another young lady who's actually lost 14 kilograms and she's sort of followed in Alannah's footsteps.
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"I'm really proud of [Alannah] and I think it just goes to show that if you put your mind to it, no mater who you are, you can achieve."
Ms Kellock said people with disabilities could be nervous to work in a kitchen, but even people without disabilities often lacked cooking skills.
"A young person might have had one bad experience in the kitchen before and then that might mean it takes them a little longer to gain confidence," she said.
"So it's all about showing them the correct techniques and minimising the risks, so they do a lot of occupation health and training safety.
"It's often easier for something to come out of a jar, a box or takeaway.
"Because of all the extra curricular activities our kids do there's often not time to stand and show a young person how to cook."
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