Living with COPD Series
In The Kitchen
- Assemble all necessary items before
beginning meal preparation.
- Sit while working if possible. A
high-raised stool is a handy item if working at a counter height.
- Keep frequently used items on the
counter or within easy reach.
- Keep other frequently used items on the
upper shelves of lower cabinets or the lower shelf of upper cabinets.
- Keep you seldom or less used items on
the shelves where you have more difficulty, ie: long reach or requires
bending or stooping.
- Keep your shelves as uncluttered as
- Consider a long-handled "grabber" to
help you reach these more difficult-to-reach items.
- If walking, lifting or carrying is
difficult for you, try using a small rolling cart to transport your
items from one place to another.
- Cook larger meals at one time even if
you live alone. Freeze your leftovers in zip-lock bags or the newer,
handy-storage containers to make your own boil-in-bag or reheatable
- Serve one-dish meals or casserole-type
- Use aluminum foil when baking or
broiling to eliminate scrubbing and for easy clean up.
- Soak pots and pans for ease in cleaning;
it helps to eliminate the need for excess scrubbing.
- Air-dry frequently used dishes and
- Use counter-height toaster/broiler or
microwaves. Crock-pots are also very useful cooking items and reduce the
amount of heat that ovens or long simmering can cause.
- Use convenience foods when
desired. Learn to read labels as many convenience foods are high in salt
(sodium) and sugar content. These items may be on a restricted list if
you are on a special diet.
- Keep plenty of water and beverages in
- Use your exhaust fan while cooking to
expel heat and moisture from cooking.
- Have a small fan available if the heat
in the kitchen is difficult or uncomfortable for you.
- When cleaning up after a meal, assemble
all items that need to be refrigerated first and then deal with
them. The rest can wait for a later time.
- After washing, put your most frequently
used pots and pans back on the stove and leave them there.
- If possible, rather then putting your
dishes and silver away just reset your table for your next meal.
- Remember it takes a lot of energy to eat
and digest food. It is recommended that six smaller meals is preferred
over a few large ones. Plan your menus accordingly.
- Space out tasks other then those
required day to day, like dishwashing etc. Plan such activities as
cabinet cleaning, refrigerator cleaning, oven cleaning, etc., into small
manageable sections. You can even space these activities out over weeks
to keep everything manageable. For example, when cleaning a
refrigerator, concentrate on one shelf per day if the task of the entire
project is just too much. The same principle applies to cabinets and
other areas of the kitchen. Make them smaller projects when planning
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Last modified: June 17, 2002