We all need to eat, and for most of us, that means we need to cook. Following are some easy tips and products to help you in the kitchen if you are missing an upper limb. Many of these items are available through medical distributors but are often less expensive at kitchen/cooking stores and websites such as Sur La Table, Pampered Chef, or HomeGoods. It’s a good idea to purchase at least two so you always have a backup. Bon appétit!
Use mats on the counter to stabilize pots, pans, cutting boards, and plates and keep them from sliding. Options include Dycem nonslip products (www.dycem-ns.com/occupational-therapy) and silicone webbed mats that can accommodate hot objects.
Add cylindrical foam tubing or Coban Self-Adherent Wrap to objects for a better grip. Inexpensive foam tubing is great for enlarging utensil handles and can be purchased at any hardware store that sells pipe insulation—look for it in the plumbing department. Coban is an inex pensive way to add a nonslip and/or a built-up surface to any object. It can also be added to the tines of a hook prosthesis to reduce slippage.
Use an onion holder
to stabilize fragile, oddly shaped, slippery, or messy foods that are difficult to grasp with a prosthesis or residual limb.
Attach a suction brush to the sink wall, and use it to scrub fruits and vegetables.
Use rocker-style, curved knives; rolling pizza cutters; and a mandoline food slicer. With these utensils, it’s easier to cut food using only one hand.
Take advantage of a one-handed rolling pin—one of the best tools ever.