If you are a woman with ADHD, mealtime can be challenging. Between trying to find the time to cook and dealing with the distractions of everyday life, it can be hard to stay on top of things in the kitchen. This blog post will provide tips and tricks for cooking and shopping as a woman with ADHD. With a little organization and planning ( I know it’s hard), you can make mealtime less stressful and more enjoyable!
If you have ADHD, planning, shopping for, and making meals can be difficult for you and your family.
This is because it requires the use of executive functions which people with ADHD have impairments.
Consider the following things required to cook and shop:
- You need to choose and plan a meal 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, issues 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, overwhelm, and possibly sensory issues at the grocery store.
- You need to cook and coordinate time management and planning to do this.
- You need to set the table and get everything coordinated with timing to get things on the table on time. It would help if you also cleaned the meal up
Society still expects women to care for their homes and manage a household effortlessly. Meal planning is one of the things we are held responsible for doing in the house. 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.
There are some things you can do to make the process easier, though.
ADHD and Planning Meals
-Planning is critical. Make a list of meals for the week and shop for all the ingredients you will need ahead of time. This will save you time and energy during the week. This may be hard so ask for help!
- 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 and easy meals. On the front of the card, they write the meal, ingredients, and quick directions on the back. They can keep these cards organized for tried and true recipes they and other family members can cook. These ideas are from Teri, who is excellent 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
- Get an apron with pockets to put things in so you have less to search for
- Play music that calms you while cooking.
- 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 stay 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
ADHD and Making Clean up easier.
Cleaning up is another area of food prep that can be hard for people with ADHD.
- Set a timer to help you know when to start and stop cleaning
- Do a little bit each day so it doesn’t become overwhelming
- Have family members help with cleaning up
- Use paper plates and disposable silverware to make clean-up easier.
- Invest in a dishwasher if you don’t have one.
- Set a reward for yourself when clean-up is done
- Focus on one part of the kitchen at a time
We’ve explored some strategies ADHD women can use in the kitchen to help with meal prep, cooking, and clean-up. While every woman is different and will have her own unique set of challenges and solutions, hopefully, these tips provide a starting point for you as you work to create a routine that works for you. What do you do to help yourself with meal prep? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!
I hope some of these ideas have helped. Do you have any to add? Please share in the comments.
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.