If you are blind or partially sighted, cooking can seem rather daunting. However, by adapting how you work in the kitchen and using special equipment you can still enjoy preparing food.
Using colour and contrast
Colour and contrast can help make things easier to see when you are preparing food. Below are some examples of how different contrasts can help in the kitchen:
- It is easier to find light coloured food like potatoes on a dark chopping board and darker food, such as green beans, on a light board.
- Cake mix shows up better in a dark bowl (unless it's chocolate!).
- Dark handles on light kitchen units are easier to spot and may help you avoid banging your head.
- If you are pouring a drink, it is easier to see how full the cup is if it is a contrasting colour.
- Plugs and sockets are easier to find if they are a different colour to the walls and worktops.
Make sure that your kitchen lighting helps you make the most of any sight you have. You should consider:
- Good strong central lighting;
- Lights under wall cupboards which shine onto worktops;
- A clip-on spotlight that can be used as needed;
- Matt rather than shiny surfaces to help avoid glare.
Find out more about adjusting lighting to suit your needs on our lighting page.
Special equipment and labelling
There is a lot of special equipment you can use to make cooking easier.
Talking equipment can be a great help. A liquid level indicator can tell you when a cup, bowl or jug is near full. If you have recorded labels, a PenFriend can help you find ingredients or equipment easily. You can also get talking measuring jugs and scales so you can accurately measure out ingredients. A talking microwave or grill allows you to set cooking times easily and heat quick and easy meals.
If you have trouble reading food packaging, you will find it a lot easier to cook in your kitchen if everything is properly labelled. Again, a PenFriend is a great way to quickly identify ingredients and jars. You can also get talking tin lids or use contrasting stickers or braille labels. If everything has its place and is always put back there afterwards, this will save a lot of frustration when you are trying to find things. Try and have a clear system of where you keep things, and make sure that everyone who uses your kitchen knows to put things back where they find them.
We hope these tips have given you a few ideas on how you can use your kitchen with confidence. You can also find more cooking advice for blind and partially sighted people in our cooking tips factsheet:
The RNIB shop sells useful kitchen gadgets which can help you make the most of this information.
As with most activities in the home, magnification can also be helpful in the kitchen.
Our shopping leaflet gives information and advice about shopping, including information internet, telephone and mail order shopping:
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