Cooking and organizing when you’re visually impaired

Cooking and organizing when you’re visually impaired

Posted on Oct.05, 2010, under Low Vision Tips

Kitchen Confidence
From grocery shopping to cooking and organizing when you’re visually impaired

Preparing and enjoying a home-cooked meal is one of life’s most satisfying pleasures and provides a feast for all the senses. Fortunately, even those with low vision can often continue to navigate their kitchens with confidence by making a few simple adjustments. Here are some we recommend:

Reduce clutter -Get rid of dishes and appliances that are duplicates, broken or rarely used. Throw out seldom-used spices and expired food items.

Use color – Mark your cabinet and drawer handles with brightly colored paint or cloth tape to aid in visually locating them. Rewrite favorite recipes in large type on color-coded recipe cards. Use a different color to distinguish among poultry, beef, vegetable, dessert and other recipes.

Clearly label foods and shelves – Write names of foods in large letters with a black pen on masking tape or adhesive labels. Try using different numbers of rubber bands wrapped around jars and bottles to distinguish between similarly sized containers — for example, one band on a milk carton, two bands on a juice carton.

Maximize your microwave – Use microwave ovens instead of traditional ovens whenever possible to reduce the possibility of burns. When using conventional ovens, cook only on front burners, and use “hot mitts” instead of pot holders for better protection.

Go big on timers – Use talking timers or timers with large numerals.

Cut down on the need to slice and dice -Purchase ready-to-use sliced, chopped, diced and grated foods whenever possible.

Add contrast to your cutting and measuring – Use a light-colored cutting board for dark foods; a dark board for light-colored foods. Use dark-colored cups for water, clear or light-colored liquids; use light-colored cups for dark liquids.

Take command of your knives – Use broad-bladed knives for better control. Establish a standard location to place knives when not in use. Place dirty knives behind the faucet until ready to wash.

Use extra safeguards when pouring – Use your finger to detect the level of liquid in a cup. Place a tray under cups and glasses while pouring, to catch any excess.

Bend your measuring spoons -Rather than pouring liquids into a spoon, bend the handles to a 90-degree angle to create a dipping spoon that can be lowered directly into the liquids, which can be stored in wide-mouthed containers.

Make a shopping plan of action – When heading to the grocery store, organize your shopping list to follow the flow of the store’s layout. If you are looking for specialty items, call ahead to see if they are in stock and where they are located.

Let your computer do the legwork – Many grocery stores now offer online shopping and home delivery. Take advantage!

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