How can I make meal preparation easier if I have arthritis?

Here are some tips to make meal preparation easier if you have arthritis.
  • Sit while preparing food. Rest and reduce undue stress on your joints by sitting on a tall stool while preparing meals. Some come with backs for added support, and wheels to allow you to roll easily from countertop to stove. A pneumatic “drafting” stool version will adjust to the proper height with just the touch of a lever. Inquire at your local office supply store.
  • Mount an adjustable mirror over the stove, to make it easier to cook while seated. Angle it so you can more easily see into pots and pans on the stove.
  • Keep a large bowl or small wastebasket on the counter during meal preparation. Avoid unnecessary bending by lining a large bowl or small wastebasket with a recycled plastic bag and toss in vegetable peels, empty packages, cans and other waste as you work. When you’re finished cooking, discard everything at once.
  • Keep recipe cards where you can see them by inserting them between the tines of a fork. Place the fork in a glass, and your recipe card will stay clean and easy to read.
  • Store plastic wrap in the freezer to make it easier to use. When it warms up it will regain its cling.
  • Peel and cut vegetables ahead of time. Keep carrots, celery and other cut vegetables fresh and crisp by putting them in a container with an ice cube or two, and store in the refrigerator. Place in zipper-type bags, and a healthy snack is always ready to grab on the go.
  • Bake casseroles and pies on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet, shallow roasting pan or jelly roll pan. The dishes will be easier to lift, and the larger outer pans will catch any spill-over, eliminating oven cleaning.
  • Use a cool-to-the-touch, handled colander inside your cooking pan. Cook pasta or potatoes in the colander, and when done, simply lift it out, drain and serve. You can use the same method to cook vegetables, or you might want to consider a steamer. Purchase a cool-handled colander or steamer wherever cookware is sold.
  • Make broiler pans easier to clean with a cup of water poured into the bottom portion of the pan before cooking. The water keeps drippings from being baked on and eliminates smoke during cooking. If food does stick to pots or pans, add baking soda and water while the pan is still warm, let cool and cleanup is easy.

More About this Book


Arthritis: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier is a compendium of tips, techniques, and life-task shortcuts all learned from personal experience. Author Shelley Peterman Schwarz has lived with a chronic...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.