Cooking Tips When You Have Limited Mobility

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Cooking is a valuable activity, not just in terms of what it provides with regards to nutrition, but the ancillary benefits it can bring as an enjoyable and expressive hobby. As a key part of your routine, you’ll want it to be as accessible and enjoyable as possible. 

For those with limited mobility this can be a challenging proposition, however it’s not something to be intimidated by. It’s also not something that you necessarily will need to make major renovations or changes to accommodate, as with the right approach and minor changes, you can mitigate challenges and ensure that cooking is an enjoyable and relaxing experience. 

Plan Out Your Shopping List 

This is good advice for anyone, but for people who have mobility needs, planning ahead is even more valuable, as there's a greater chance of specific dietary requirements, and potentially less energy and time for both meal preparation and buying ingredients. 

Planning ahead is a vital practice, whether it’s on a weekly or monthly basis (depending on how often you do your grocery shopping) that will be an efficient use of both time and money. Decide what ingredients are needed before heading to the grocery store or even doing online food shopping, preventing unnecessary purchases and food waste. 

Cook in Batches 

When deciding on shopping plan on cooking some meals in batches. By cooking in bulk and making multiple meals out of one piece of cooking, you can freeze portions and ensure you’ll have multiple meals for future weeks. Not only will this be great for days when you may have less energy for cooking, it can also help reduce the number of times you need to shop for ingredients. 

Have the Right Kitchen Equipment 

One of the most important things you can do to make cooking more accessible and comfortable is to invest in the right kitchen equipment. There are a variety of tools out there, ranging from specialized equipment to regular gadgets that can still go a long way to help, so it’s all about finding the right choices for your needs and budget. 

One of the hardest parts of cooking physically can be using knives and cutlery, fortunately there are a number of adaptive options on the market. These are designed to make gripping and using them easier for people who may have issues with strength and dexterity. While we don’t carry many kitchen-specific items, we do have a number of general aids for daily living.

Keep Things Simple 

Using pre-packaged or pre-cut ingredients is a great way to not only simplify your cooking process, but also helps to cut down on some of the more time consuming and physically challenging tasks. 

Most grocery stores will offer a wide range of pre-cut fruits and vegetables — including essentials like onions  — and you’ll find equally delicious and nutritious frozen substitutes for most things you’ll want to include in your recipes. There are also prepared options for base ingredients, such as sauces and doughs, that save you from having to make every step from scratch. 

Another thing that you should do is look for recipes with fewer steps, and most importantly, fewer dishes. Try not to manage too many things at once. In the kitchen especially, this can be overwhelming and stressful. 

One pot meals can be a great shortcut, and another great option is to buy or use a slow cooker. There are a wide range of slow cooker recipes, and it can be a great way of cooking while cutting down on the physical and time demands of your meal prep.   

Ask For Help 

Preserving your independence and freedom is something that we know is hugely important for anyone with mobility needs, however this doesn’t mean you need to be reticent to ask for help. 

Whether it’s friends, family, or your caregiver, asking someone to come help you with your cooking — and to stay and eat the meal with you afterwards — turns it into a social activity while also lessening the demands on you. Similarly, if you struggle to get out to the shops easily, asking someone to pick up grocery items for you can be a tremendous help. 

Mobility issues or other medical problems shouldn’t stand in the way of you enjoying all the activities — such as cooking — you want with freedom and comfort. Something which we’re proud to be able to help with here at Island Mediquip, with a knowledgeable and friendly team and a wide range of specialist products all designed to make your life easier no matter what your physical needs. To find out how we can help you, contact us today!