ADHD and Cooking

  • ADHD In the kitchen.

If you have ADHD, planning, shopping for and making meals can be difficult, for you and for your family.

This is because it requires the use of executive functions which people with ADHD have impairments of.

Consider the following.

You need choose and plan a meal that everyone likes, which can be challenging if you have a family of picky eaters .

You need to shop for the meal which can bring sensory issues, issue of overwhelm with choice and time management issues at the grocery store You need to get the right ingredients at the store.

You need to deal with choices and overwhelm and possibly sensory issues at the grocery store.

You need to cook and coordinate time management and planning in order to do this.

You need to set the table and get everything coordinated with timing to get things on the table on time You also need to clean the meal up

Society still expects women to be the effortlessly taking care of their home and managing a household. Meal planning is one of the things we are held responsible for doing in the home. When women with ADHD fail at this, it contributes to anxiety, low self esteem, depression, and other struggles. This is unfair and will contribute to struggles with mental health.


Here are some mental health tips for women with adhd in the kitchen



Planning Meals

  • Teri Matlin  in her book The Queen of Distraction  suggests that women who have adhd simplify their shopping process by creating a set of index cards with quick an easy meals. On the front of the card they write the meal, and on the back the ingredients and quick directions. They can keep these cards organized for tried and true recipes that they and other family members can cook. Most of these ideas are from Teri who is great at tips for women with ADHD. 

Make your shopping experience easier.

  • Going to smaller grocery stores where you are less overwhelmed
  • Go during off hours
  • Additionally she recommends thinking of things to make the shopping and cooking experience easy any of these things should be thought of as accommodations for your ADHD NOT indulgences
  • Using food delivery services such as shipt and instacart

Make your cooking experience easier

  • Use family members
  • Batch cook
  • Have breakfast for dinner
  • Use food prep services
  • Invest in a pressure Cooker such as an instant pot
  • Spend more money for convenience
  • Using pre prepped foods such as frozen chopped vegetables and bagged salads
  • Remember to staying in the kitchen and not wander away
  • Set multiple alarms to help you remember when food is done
  • Make duplicates and freeze and label extra portions to pull out easily.

Clean up

  • Enlist in the help of other family members
  • Set a reward for yourself when clean up is done
  • Focus on one part of the kitchen at a time

Learn more about ADHD


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Medical information obtained from this website is not intended as a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult a healthcare provider.