Blog posts tagged with 'accessible cooking'

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14 December, 2014

4 Helpful Tips to Make Holiday Food Traditions More Accessible

With the holiday season in full swing and just 10 days until Christmas, it's time to think about not just what holiday gifts will be under your tree but also what you will be putting on your dinner table. Some of the best (and most delicious) holiday traditions involve classic family recipes, from plentiful platters of food to delectable Christmas cookies that make anyone want to take home leftovers.

With that said, one thing that is often overlooked during these festive family gatherings is how to add a little bit more accessibility to the table in order to make sure that those who need some extra help can still enjoy the holiday food traditions they have come to cherish so fondly over the years.
Here are 4 Helpful Tips to Make Holiday Food Traditions More Accessible:
1. For plate settings, keep in mind those loved ones who have hand issues, low dexterity or arthritis. Arthritis of the hands has become a fairly common ailment among older adults, and when someone has trouble grasping or gripping objects with their hands, it can really take the enjoyment out of eating. When setting your dinner table for a holiday gathering, it's a good idea to write out a list of who is attending and see if they need a little extra assistance gripping onto their utensils. One cost-effective solution for dinner guests with hand issues are these soft, easy grip built-up arthritis handles that can be attached to any fork, knife or spoon to increase the gripping surface while adding comfort and stability to the dining experience. Something like this can be a real lifesaver for a parent or grandparent who has chronic hand pain, and it also goes a long way in showing your guest how much you truly care about them and their comfort level when they are eating in your home.
2. Organize your kitchen for food prep with accessibility in mind. It is inevitable that when you are hosting a big family gathering such as Hanukkah or Christmas dinner, you will be tasked with organizing your kitchen to make room for friends and relatives who are also fellow foodies and want to help you prepare the best meal possible. One thing that can happen with too many cooks in the kitchen are spills or slips when someone isn't paying full attention to the task at hand. In these situations, you can cut down on the accidents by sectioning off areas in your kitchen and creating specific food prep stations. When your cooking helpers arrive, kindly direct them to their designated area for that they will be doing, and make sure that anyone who is not helping to prepare the meal is entertained by others away from the kitchen. 
Also, to make sure there are no accidents in the kitchen, just like with the plate settings you should think about who will be helping you prepare the meal and how you can accommodate them. Chances are that grandma and grandpa will want to help keep family food traditions alive in some way, shape or form, and so you want to make sure your designated areas for them have the food preparation cooking helpers they might need to make sure they are safe in the kitchen. One invention that is sure to save a few fingers and avoid a trip to the hospital or urgent care center on Christmas is this EZ grip low vision cutting board, which is specially designed to grip your kitchen counter using four suction cups while the stainless steel corner plate / slicing guide holds the food in place. Solutions like this add accessibility to food prep and are sure to be appreciated by your sous chefs who could use the extra assistance while graciously helping you.
3. Stay cool and don't get burned by your oven. With all of those aforementioned kitchen helpers comes the chaos of recipes being recounted, side conversations overlapping each other, and other distractions. Because of this, it's important to take extra precautions to ensure that everyone stays safe, particularly around the oven. One misplaced hand when distracted can cause serious burns, and that is the last thing anyone should have to worry about when hosting a holiday gathering. That is why it is important to have the proper protections in place, and there are several solutions that can help promote oven safety in your kitchen. First, make sure you keep your oven mitts handy and close to your oven area. You may also find these Cool Touch Oven Rack Guards to be extremely helpful in preventing burns since they are designed to easily attach to most oven racks and snap in place to add another layer of protection when you need it most
4. Make sure everyone can enjoy their coffee, tea or hot chocolate with dessert. After the big holiday dinner is over and everyone has had a chance to catch up and converse, it will then be time for dessert. You've worked so hard all night long, and all that's left is to unveil the cakes, pies and cookies, then serve the coffee, tea or hot chocolate. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that some of your guests might be a little tired and so they may not pay as much attention when gripping and drinking the hot beverage that is in front of them. This is where your last bit of ingenuity comes into play for the night, by doing your best to make sure that your guests don't slip up and spill their drinks. All you have to do is invest in something like this ergonomic clip-on handle that easily attaches to any standard coffee mug and adds a stronger, more comfortable and stable grip that all of your friends and family members will appreciate at the end of the evening.
We hope you enjoyed this 4 Helpful Tips to Make Holiday Food Traditions More Accessible, and all of us here at MaxiAids wish you a happy and healthy holiday season, as well as a Happy New Year!
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