Making reading recipes easier

One of the main regrets we hear when we work with a low vision patient is that they have to stop cooking. For many people being a good cook is a source of pride. It also is a form of independence. Low vision patients quite often simply cannot read their recipes. There are strategies to make reading recipes easier for low vision patients so that they can resume cooking.

The first thing is to print or get the recipe printed on a letter size sheet of paper using 18 point type. Bigger is always better. We would recommend that the paper be yellow and the print black. If the recipe will be handwritten, use print rather than cursive and a black, medium point felt tip marker. The next suggestion is to place a simple desk lamp on the kitchen counter. The desk lamp allows the light to be shinned directly onto the recipe. Good lighting always helps.

Keeping things organized is essential for someone who has lost some vision. We would recommend that these large print recipes be placed in a three ring binder with colorful divider tabs. There should be a section for each type of recipe; one for baked items, another for main courses, etc. Even if the print on the tabs are hard to read, the color of the tab can be memorized. The sections should also be organized in a way that is easy for the low vision patient to remember.

Many of our patients are able to cook again using these different strategies. It is always special when Grandma can make her famous cookies for her grandchildren once again.