Diabetes and Vision Loss Tips: Healthy Eating
If you have vision loss, healthy eating means learning adaptive techniques for grocery shopping, reading food labels, preparing meals, and measuring portion sizes accurately. A vision rehabilitation therapist can teach you to manage these tasks so you can practice healthy eating. Try these tips:
Organizing and Labeling:
- Keep your kitchen organized to help you locate what you need.
- Use braille labels or a labeling device like the Reizen Talking Wand to identify items in your kitchen and pantry.
- Use oven mitts, such as the Ove Glove, to protect from burns when removing items from the oven and a double spatula to safely handle food while cooking and turning.
- Set a timer to remind you when to turn off the stove and electrical appliances.
- Use divided plates with tactile dividers (similar to TV dinner plates), as easy-to-use portion control devices.
- Try nested measuring cups—a set of various cup sizes that stack neatly inside one another. These cups feature enlarged or raised numbers or color-coded cups for easy identification.
- For precise food measurements, purchase a talking food scale (for example, if you are on dialysis).
- Track the number and size of spoonful’s of food you eat. Most serving spoons and soup ladles hold about one-half cup, or one serving size of a starch, fruit, or cooked vegetables. Check the sizes of your spoons.
- Measure how much your bowls, glasses, and cups hold. If you want only a half cup of juice for breakfast, use a half-cup juice glass, etc.
- Keep appropriately sized scoops near food that you need to measure often—for example, a one-cup scoop near your cereal.
- Use the “hand” method for estimating portion sizes:
- the palm of the hand (about the size of a deck of cards) is about the size and thickness of three ounces of meat, fish, or cheese.
- a fist is approximately the size of one cup, or two portions, of most starchy foods and fruits, such as pasta, potatoes, oatmeal, or applesauce. A half-fist, or one portion, is about the size of a tennis ball.
- two hands cupped together hold about two cups, or one portion of green salad.
- a thumb is about the same volume as a tablespoon, or a serving of salad dressing.
- the tip of the thumb is about one teaspoon, or one serving of butter or margarine.
Diabetes: The Basics – Healthy Eating – VisionAware