How To Set Up the Kitchen To Prepare Light Meals, Snacks, and More a Short Video

Here are the tips for setting up a kitchen if you have low vision or no functional vision. If the kitchen is yours you can make changes whenever you are ready.

Sighted family and roommates will need plenty of reminders to put things back. So it’s a good idea to take over a shelf or bin in the refrigerator for your own favorite snacks and drinks, and also keep a mug and dishes that work for you in a special place.

Here’s a  section from Chapter 3: Learning to Trust Yourself,  from my book, When You Can’t Believe Your Eyes: Vision Loss and Personal Recovery,


People get possessive about their kitchens, and the kitchen door sometimes becomes a barrier. If you aren’t a cooking maestro, you may feel some anxiety about burning or slicing yourself too. There are heaps of good blind cooks including a winner of the TV Master Chef competition, Christine Ha. Even if you are nervous, it’s smart to start straight away before you deprive yourself of the freedom to prepare food when you want it. Be firm with your friends and family too. You have the same right to prepare meals as they do. But to keep everyone happy, play it very safe.

  • Trays: Prepare food on a tray such as a cafeteria tray, so any spills and crumbs are contained.
  • Mugs and glasses: Use large, heavy-based mugs and glasses not easy to topple. When you fill them, leave plenty of jiggle-room at the top.
  • Stemware and fine china: Keep these in a safe place for special days, so you don’t distress yourself by breaking Grandma’s dessert dish.
  • Plates: Choose solid plates and bowls, preferably with a deep rim, and make sure they are microwave-safe. Store them on a designated shelf or tray.
  • Scissors: Use kitchen scissors for opening food packages.
  • Food: Start off with easy-to-prepare foods such as cereal, crackers, toast, cheese and deli meats. Give yourself treats too, and stay healthy with fresh fruit and salad snacks.
  • Microwave oven: Heat dinners in the microwave as well as soup and water for hot chocolate or tea. Fill dishes and mugs to be microwaved two-thirds full. Keeping the dish level as you lift it out is tricky. Use the one-minute button and mark it with sticky tape or a self-adhesive bump dot.
  • Coffee maker: If you have a simple coffee maker, practice filling the tank with cups of cold water and adding the right amount of coffee in the filter basket.
  • Put a tray under your mug for coffee and other drinks before you pour.

These simple tips are just to get you through the kitchen door. There’s much more about cooking in Chapter 7, A Home That Works For Everyone.

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