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Best items to help in your kitchen

28th August 2020

Being able to get around the kitchen is vital for older people wanting to stay independent as it means that they are able to prepare and cook their meals without needing a carer or relative to help them.

While there are lots of modern stairlifts available to help older people stay independent, not a lot is known about the array of gadgets that are available in the kitchen.

Here we take you through all the different items that can help older people in the kitchen; from talking thermometers to special stirring utensils.

•Mini Chopper

•Ring pull can opener and electric grater

•Sharp knives

•Colourworks collapsible colander from Wayfair

•üutensil stir and Spudnik

•Talking Food Thermometer

•Talking Kitchen Scale

•Lakeland's Toastabag and Vegetable Spiralizer

•The ETAC Bread Cutting Board and ETAC Fix Preparation Board

•Kettle and Teapot Tipper

•Talking Microwave Oven

Mini Chopper

Chopping and slicing food can often take longer than you’d like, but with a mini chopper it will not just save you time so you can enjoy more time enjoying your meal, it can help people who have mobility issues in their hands to chop up ingredients.

There are lots of benefits to mini chopper products and Becca, who is behind the light-hearted food blog Easy Cheesy Vegetarian, talks about why she would recommend a mini chopper for your kitchen.

“One of my most-used kitchen gadgets is my mini chopper - I use it at least once a week. It's significantly smaller than a full-size food processor, so even if you have a small kitchen, it won't take up half your workspace, and it's a really versatile tool. I use mine for chopping nuts, blitzing bread into breadcrumbs, finely chopping fresh herbs, blending homemade dips, making pesto and salad dressings... all sorts of jobs! I also hate chopping fiddly vegetables like garlic and onion, so I use my mini chopper for that too. It's a great tool for taking those fiddly jobs off your hands!”

Ring pull can opener and electric grater

Two jobs in the kitchen that some people find difficult, especially those with weak hands and wrists, are opening cans and grating cheese.

Over the years with the development of new technology, these jobs have been made slightly easier and today you buy a ring pull can opener and an electric grater.

Helen is a food writer and photographer at Fuss Free Flavours, where she shares recipes for easy midweek after-work meals, small-batch preserves and British food.

She explains how the ring pull opener is something her mother loves using and how she uses her electric grater several times a week.

“For those with weaker hands and wrists, a ring pull can opener adds extra leverage to make opening cans a cinch, and an electric mouli grater is invaluable for so many preparation jobs, as they power through cheese and vegetables with zero effort, with no risk of grazing fingers and knuckles and less washing up than a food processor.”

Sharp knives

Everyone has knives in their kitchen, but not everyone has sharp knives, which can cause some people problems when cutting up foods for their meals.

Sharp knives need less brute force, and this means that there will be less damage to the food you are cutting. Ingredients that are more delicate such as herbs, look fresher for longer if you slice through them cleanly.

Helen from Fuss Free Flavours explains why she thinks sharp knives are vital items to have in your kitchen as well as why she uses kitchen scissors regularly: “My top tip for anyone in the kitchen, is a good sharp knife and a pair of kitchen scissors. Blunt knives can slip and cut you far more easily than sharp ones. I like the small Victorinox serrated steak knives with bright plastic handles which are easy to use, see and care for. Many cutting and snipping jobs, such as cutting meat, bacon, jointing chicken are much easier with scissors than a knife.” 

Colourworks collapsible colander from Wayfair

Wayfair sell a Kitchen Craft Colourworks Collapsible Colander and this clever invention is perfect for draining hot and cold items. It comes in a variety of colours meaning that it can co-ordinate with other items in the kitchen.

Speaking about the colander, Nadia McCowan Hill, Resident Style Adviser at Wayfair UK, says, “This colander is very light, and the grip handles allow for easy use. Plus, the collapsible function makes it a great space saver.”

üutensil stir and Spudnik

The Stirr is a great extra pair of hands in the kitchen as it helps stir things so the user doesn't have to. At the push of a button, it will rotate by itself and it travels around your pan.

A spokesperson for üutensil stir, says, "If you’re looking for something a bit more specific to your topic I’d say that The Stirr is really good for taking the effort out of any task that takes a lot of stirring, so sauces, gravy, custards and even making fudge are all made a lot easier with a Stirr.

“üutensil take a look at each kitchen preparation task from first principles and work out the most efficient way of solving that particular job. All our products are designed in-house in the UK by people passionate about cooking."

Talking Food Thermometer

The easy-to-use talking food thermometer from RNIB announces the temperature of the food in Fahrenheit or degrees Celsius as well as displaying it on an LCD display in 42 point font to make it easy to read.

The metal probe measures 12.5cm in length and it automatically powers off after 10 minutes and has a battery life in standby mode of 4,000 hours. The temperature range of the thermometer goes from minus 50 to 300 degrees Celsius and minus 58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit.

This talking thermometer is great for older people as they can easily read or listen to the temperature of their food, ensuring that their meal is properly cooked.

Talking Kitchen Scale

Sticking with the talking theme, the Digital Scales Company has created a Talking Kitchen Scale called the Vox 2 Evo.

The scales have been designed in conjunction with the National Council for the Blind and features large soft-touch buttons. Older people and others suffering from impaired vision can listen to the scales, which speak in English, French, German and Spanish.

The scales weigh up to 5,000g to an accuracy of 1g and it even has a tare function for weighing foods in containers. The Vox 2 features a stainless-steel platform and is powered by 4 AA batteries and an auto-off function to preserve energy.

Lakeland's Toastabag and Vegetable Spiralizer

The Lakeland Toastabag makes it easy to rustle up a tasty toastie as each bag can be reused up to 500 times!

All the user has to do is to prepare a sandwich, pop it into the bag and then place it in the toaster to make a delicious meal.

The Lakeland Vegetable Spiralizer allows older people to transform their five-a-day into spaghetti-style spirals and ribbons that are perfect for salads. This healthy, quick-cook alternative to pasta is really easy to make with the spiralizer as raw vegetables like carrots, courgettes and sweet potatoes can just be fed in and it produces twisty, twirling strands that can be cooked in no time.

The spiralizer was initially released during the spring of 2015 but has now been improved with the additions of improved suction feet, sharper blades and the veg holder being made more robust. The gadget is safe and easy to use and encourages people of all ages to eat healthier foods.

The ETAC Bread Cutting Board and ETAC Fix Preparation Board

The ETAC Bread Cutting Board is a great gadget as it makes it easier for those with poor hand function or impaired vision to cut food. No matter whether it's steak or bread, the transverse bar can be altered to change the thickness of the slice and the knife can fit in the guides for safe, straight cutting.

The ETAC Fix Preparation Board aids tasks such as cutting, grating, peeling and whisking and gives users extra power and precision. The preparation board is a great help for people who only have the use of one hand or suffer from weakness in both. The product’s clamp holds bowls, graters or a piece of food in place, while the board's small plate with spikes can hold smaller pieces of food. The board also has four anti-slip feet and suction pads.

Kettle and Teapot Tipper

The kettle and teapot tipper can help older people lift a heavy kettle or teapot and help them pour water more safely and easily.

The teapot tipper can hold a kettle securely in place so there is no need to lift it and the user can then just tip the water effortlessly into a mug. Another great design is the fact the kettle tipper can be used with all kettle types.

Talking Microwave Oven

Some people become more impaired as they grow older and those who suffer from impaired vision, deafness or forgetfulness might find talking microwave ovens useful additions to their kitchen.

This might take a bit of getting used to at first, but a talking microwave can make your meal preparations much easier. Things like heating up foods or popping popcorn don’t have to be a struggle as this item will help you.

A microwave is an item that many people use every day and some models allow a user to save up to three favourite programmes so you can cook your most popular dishes at the touch of a button.

Cooking is a hobby for many people, especially older adults and the items above could help lots of people in the kitchen. There are aids such as new stairlifts that help people around the home and these items can also aid some people in their kitchens so they can concentrate more on making delicious foods.

Image Credit: ETAC, Lakeland, RNIB, Digital Scales Company, üutensil.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.