Food & Dining

  • Written by Annette Densham
Sorry Celeb Chef, Your Recipes Are Too Hard To Follow: Website Makes Recipes Easier To Read

Annette Densham is mum to 14 yo Qwyn, who has autism. Some of the biggest challenges with him has been over food and making healthier choices.

As he has gotten older, he has shown more interest in making his own meals, yet so many recipe books are confusing and not written with people with challenges in mind.

For Annette, discovering Easy Read Recipes by Leanne Foreman has been a life saver. “Qwyn would get so confused going back and forth and would end up giving up, going back to noodles or some other convenience food. It worries me as he gets older that he will not be able to look after his nutrition needs,” Annette said.

“Leanne’s recipes are set out perfectly for Qwyn’s ordered brain.”

Leanne, who is a mother to two – a son with autism/ADHD and a daughter with dyslexia – wrote the recipes with them in mind. “There are over 25 criteria that need to be met to make a recipe as easy as possible to follow,” she said.

“Over 2.5 million Australians between 15 and 65 can’t easily read a recipe, especially when it comes to having to continually go back and forth between the ingredients and method.

“Easy Read Recipes is a patented formatting method with these must-have subtle criteria necessary to make a recipe as easy as possible, for as many as possible, to read and follow.

“It is very easy to lose our place by going back and forward between the ingredients and method several times during cooking. Imagine if you had ADHD as well. Also, how many recipes are written in fonts that are too small or too fancy to read easily – someone with dyslexia doesn’t have a chance.” The added bonus is that if these recipes are easier for the challenged reader then of course they will be easier for all and don’t we all want something that will create more ease and reduce stress  in our life?

This former Home Economics teacher is also on a mission to help more people with autism, ADHD and dyslexia have access to healthier foods. Annette said one of her biggest concerns is Qwyn’s reliance on nutrient deficient quick grab food, despite there being more healthy options in the house. “It just gets too much for me. Too many choices to make so he goes the easy options and I notice when he does this, it impacts his behaviour,” she said.

Leanne agrees. “The brain needs nutrients for better brain function and the additives in pre-packaged and fast food disrupt the messages in the brain, which is not ideal for someone already challenged,” she said.

“Having recipes easier to read is like having wheels on a suitcase, you just do not realise how much easier it is to until you use it.

“If we can help people be more creative in the kitchen and empower them to make their own food, it will make a huge difference to their health and social interactions.



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