The kitchen can be the most stressful room in the home and this can be compounded by fear and frustration.
It is vital to remember that no matter how straight forward a task may be it can be difficult when someone has a visual impairment. Breaking the job down into simple steps can often help.
If suitable it is a good idea to use equipment that can make it safer to prepare/cook food. This can be found on the RNIB website shop or amazon and may include a liquid level indicator, using a vegetable holder for cutting safely/talking microwave and scales. However, it is always good to explore what you already have in the kitchen such as using a fork to hold food safely while cutting it. Bumpons can be added to cookers, microwaves and washing machines
Good hygiene practice must be taught such as washing hands, wearing an apron and tying back hair.
Storing food safely and placing peelings in the correct bin should be discussed
Organisation and familiarisation skills
Good organisation in the kitchen will help a child locate equipment more easily and working in a tidy kitchen will promote safety and independence. Let a child explore equipment thoroughly before using it so they can understand how it works.
Ensure the cooking session/recipe is within the child’s abilities so they can build on previous experiences as they learn new skills. This may include having the experience of cutting food at mealtimes and being familiar with a microwave
Scissors can always be used instead of a knife. The back of a spoon can be used to spread butter/jam more easily than a knife
Using a non-slip mat will keep plates/chopping boards/bowls still when cutting, chopping or stirring. This can be expensive but if you look around on websites and high street homeware stores you will find one at a reasonable price.
Use hand over hand when teaching a new skill or reinforcing an instruction.
Easy cook no- yeast Pizza
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Ingredients for the dough
300g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
300g natural yogurt
Pitta bread can be used for an easy alternative to this recipe
Topping of your child’s choice
Ham/sweetcorn/pineapple/cheese/tomatoes/ sliced mushrooms.
This will give them the opportunity to practice their skills
1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6 170C/375F
A child can use established bumpons to identify the correct setting
2. Weigh the ingredients out. Talking scales can be used. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the yogurt and stir with a fork.
3. When the mixture forms a dough turn out onto a floured surface and knead. Divide into four equal pieces and roll out to the desired shape
4. Add the choice of topping including tomato puree. Spread puree on base
5. Place on a greased baking tray and cook. Remember to use oven gloves
Pitta bread can be used for an easy alternative to teh
Chocolate chip cookies
Cooking time 15 minutes -Makes 8 cookies
225g softened butter
110g caster sugar
275g plain flour
75g milk or white chocolate chip cookies
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 170C/375F A child can use established bumpons to identify the correct setting
2. Cream the butter and add sugar until it is pale and fluffy
3. Sift flour into the mixture, mix and then add the chocolate chips.
Use an anti- slip mat to stop the bowl moving around
4. Mix until it makes a firm dough then make walnut sized balls with your hands.
5. Place on a baking tray and flatten slightly with the back of a fork
6. Place on a greased baking tray and cook. Remember to use oven gloves
Microwave mug cake (bbcgood.com/recipes)
bumpons can be used for settings or a talking microwave
4tbsp self-raising flour
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 medium egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp veg or sunflower oil
A few drops of vanilla essence
2 tbsp choc chips or raisins
1. Add the self- raising flour, 4 caster sugar and cocoa powder to the largest mug you have (to stop it overflowing in the microwave) and mix
2. Add I medium egg and mix in as much as you can. Do not worry if there is still some dry mix left
use a non- slip mat to stop mug moving
3. Add the milk and oil and mix until smooth before adding the chocolate chips or raisins. Mix again
4. Centre the mug in the middle of the microwave and cook on high for 2mins until it has stopped rising and is firm to the touch
5. Remember to use oven gloves and let stand for 1 to 2 minutes as it will be piping hot