Dear Izzy is an anonymous advice column that offers solutions to everyday challenges for people with vision loss.
The holiday season is quickly approaching and I am dreading all my upcoming family gatherings. We usually go out to restaurants, but I do not enjoy dining in public. I get very frustrated because I cannot cut the food on my dinner plate. More often than not, I end up with food in my lap. It is extremely embarrassing. My son gets very upset with me when I do not want to participate in the festivities. Please help me.
Deliberately Dining In
Dear Deliberately Dining In,
Cutting food items on the dinner plate can be one of the most challenging tasks to perform when you have limited vision. Your frustration can be minimized by taking advantage of the kitchen staff. When you order your meal, ask to have the food items cut into bite-sized pieces. This will be done in the kitchen so you can enjoy your meal when it is served. Be sure to say "bite-sized" pieces. You can also ask to have garnish removed from your plate, condiments placed in ramekins, tails removed from prawns, salad cut into smaller pieces, cake or pie placed in a bowl and spaghetti replaced with a more manageable pasta (e.g. penne or rotini). Remember that the restaurant staff want you to enjoy your meal. And you want to enjoy your company, not fight with your food!
If you are interested in learning additional eating skills (including how to cut food items on your dinner plate), contact your local CNIB office. Bon appetit!
If you would like to submit an independent living skills question to Izzy, please send an email to email@example.com; your question may be answered in a future CNIB blog.