Macular Degeneration Cooking Safety Tips for the Holidays

Macular Degeneration Cooking Safety Tips and Recipes

The holidays are upon us and that means lots of time spent in the kitchen. Cooking can be challenging for people with vision loss due to macular degeneration, but there’s no need to stay out of the kitchen this holiday!

Here are some quick and easy tips to help you stay safe in the kitchen and continue to participate in holiday food preparations.

At the cutting board 

  • Choose a cutting board that contrasts with the food you are cutting – dark for light foods, light for dark foods.
  • Use a well-sharpened knife.
  • Use gooseneck lighting to add extra light to your workspace and set it BELOW eye level to reduce glare while giving you plenty of light.

At the stovetop 

  • Avoid loose clothing/sleeves.
  • Turn off burners before moving a pan or pot.
  • When boiling, add items to the pot BEFORE heating the water.
  • To avoid oil burns and to keep oil from creating a mess, fry in a saucepan rather than a frying pan.

At the oven 

  • Avoid loose clothing/sleeves.
  • Wear large oven mitts (preferably that go up to the elbow).
  • Pull the oven rack out to check on foods or to place into or take out of oven.

Guests in Your Kitchen

During the holidays, you may find more cooks in your kitchen than you are used to.  If you have low vision or are legally blind, you might already have a personal system for organizing your kitchen and cooking in it.  Make sure you let your guest cooks know how to follow the rules of your kitchen.

If you keep your kitchen organized and always put items back in their place, ask your kitchen guests to do the same.

Establish a standard location to place knives when not in use and put dirty knives behind the faucet until you are ready to wash them.

Also, ask your guests to face all saucepan handles to the same side, facing away from the edge of the stove so you’ll know where to reach and won’t knock them off the stove.  If you’re unsure of where the handles are, use a long-handled wooden spoon to locate them.

Low Vision Kitchen Resources

And for the next holiday, and every day, ready your kitchen with low vision kitchen tools. Here are a few sites to get you started:
  • lowvisionchef.com – designed by a couple who have experience with macular degeneration!
  • maxiaids.com
  • amazon.com (try searching for low vision kitchen, or specific tools like “large print measuring cups”)

Eye Healthy Recipes

And of course, if you’re going to be in the kitchen, why not prepare some eye healthy recipes and use it as an opportunity to teach your friends and family about how to reduce their risk for AMD.

You can find some free recipes from the AMDF Eat Right for Your Sight cookbook here: https://www.macular.org/good-food

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