Let’s Get Practical in the Kitchen

Let’s Get Practical in the Kitchen

Posted under Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info

Whether you like to cook or not, everyone still needs to eat and drink.  Perhaps you’ve decided you no longer want to serve the Thanksgiving meal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your favorite pumpkin bread or sweet potato casserole to your family or friend’s house.  There are lots of practical tips and low vision aids that can make cooking possible and a bit easier.

Coffee, Tea or Hot Cocoa

Starting with first thing in the morning, if you enjoy a cup of coffee or hot tea the easiest way to continue this morning ritual is to use a Keurig machine – a coffee maker that uses premeasured pods.  It’s so simple to operate. Add fresh water into the reservoir using a large number measuring cup, put in your favorite pre-measured pod of coffee or tea and hit the power button.  In two minutes you have a fresh cup of coffee with no mess and no spilling because the hot beverage is dispensed right into your favorite coffee cup.

Heat Up Your Food

Microwaves make heating up food so very simple, but many people with low vision have a hard time identifying the different digital display buttons.  Put a round raised bump that has a strong adhesive on the back on the 30 second or 1 minute button and a different size or color bump on the start button.  Just feel for the bumps rather than try to read the button displays. Hit  the 30 second or 1 minute button again if your food needs to be warmer.

Contrast Maximizes Useable Vision

Using contrast to your advantage helps to maximize your usable vision.  Place a white dish towel under a navy blue bowl or a navy blue dish towel under a white bowl. It will help you stay aware of where the bowl is on the counter.   Next place all of your ingredients on one side of the bowl and then as each ingredient is added place it to the other side.  Use large number measuring cups that have contrasting numbers on them such as white cups with bold, black numbers.  A washed finger can be used to level off dry ingredients.

Special Cutting board are available for those with low vision. One side is white for cutting up dark fruits or vegetables such as a dark green pepper and the other side is black which provides contrast for cutting up lighter colored foods, like white cauliflower.


Instead of using your microwave or oven digital display timer get a large number dial timer that uses contrast as well.  Find which contrasting combination works best for you – white with bold black numbers or black timers with bright white numbers.  Use the timer to alert you to when something needs to be checked or when something is finished baking.


Cookbooks can be bought in large print or one can use a colored iPad, Kindle Fire or laptop computer where colored pictures and enlarged fonts offer step by step instructions.   Use a book stand for your cookbook or an adjustable stand for your tablet for easier viewing.

Cleaning the Dishes

Reading a dishwasher display or touchpad can be difficult but most dishwashers have one setting that is used most often.  Again place a colored or clear raised bump on the most often used setting and use the power of touch rather than sight to find the start button. Premeasured packets that dissolve simplify the need to measure out dishwashing powder or gel.

Check out more suggestions to simplify your cooking and kitchen tasks at:

In the Kitchen With The Help of Low Vision Aids


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN