Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Roast Turkey surrounded by side dishes
Roast Turkey surrounded by side dishes

I have been out of the blogging picture recently because I am preparing a book called Finding Your Voice After Vision Loss, which takes amazing amounts of time to write.

I want the book to be easy to read of course, and useful for people new to vision loss, as well as providing tips and tricks for those of us who have lived with it a long time.

Thanksgiving dinner is a high point in most people’s year, and in the past I have blogged about the social aspects of Thanksgiving get-togethers. This year it’s all about the eating!

For your own self-esteem do bring something: a bottle, some chocolates, or something more ambitious if you like to cook, just so you feel like a real member of the party. Also tuck a couple of paper napkins into your pocket or purse.

If it’s a sit-down dinner, you are in luck! It’s usually easier. Here are some tips:

  1. Try to sit next to someone who will keep an eye on you and notice how you are doing, or who you can poke in the ribs when you need to.
  2. Slide your fingers, gently curled, over the table directly in front of you to find your knife and fork, glass, napkin and whatever else is part of your place-setting.
  3. Find out (delicately with your finger tips or the side of your hand) where the place settings on either side begin.
  4. Re-position your glass so you can find it without knocking into anything.
  5. If you want to help yourself to food, hold your plate so it overlaps the serving plate as you spoon on the stuffing.
  6. If you want to serve other people, something fairly dry like stuffing or potatoes is a good pick.
  7. If the food is sliced or drippy, it might be easier to let someone serve you.
  8. Sit a little forward, so that you can lean over your plate when lifting a mouthful.
  9. It’s much easier to deal neatly with a smaller helping on a large plate, than a helping that covers the whole plate. There will be plenty of seconds!
  10. Use a piece of bread as a pusher or blocker for scooping up soft food onto your fork.
  11. When all those pies are served, you can use a paper napkin or (I never said this) the back of your thumb as the blocker for getting mouthfuls of pie onto a fork.
  12. Wipe your mouth now and then, as well as your fingers it’s hard to gauge the size of that pie-mouthful.

If it’s a buffet, you will need an assistant to manage your plate because the serving table will probably look just like the picture at the top, with serving dishes crowded all around. Only last week I put my hand right into a bowl of yogurt thinking it was a pile of napkins!

Hold your plate while your assistant is helping you, so you can control what you are given and how much. You could pick only foods that are easy to manage in company, but it’s Thanksgiving! And you’ve got those extra napkins with you.

It’s important to sit at a table if at all possible. Eating a drippy meal with items that have to be cut up on your knee with little vision is next to impossible.


Good luck and have a great time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *