ADHD Cooking

Mastering the Art of Cooking with ADHD

Cooking can present unique challenges for individuals with ADHD, primarily due to difficulties in maintaining focus and managing distractions in the kitchen. Key strategies include planning meals in advance, breaking down recipes into smaller steps, and minimizing kitchen clutter to reduce overwhelm. Utilizing timers and checklists can help in keeping track of cooking processes and ingredients. Creating a distraction-free environment is also crucial. By adopting these tailored approaches, people with ADHD can enhance their cooking experience, ensuring meals are not only delicious but also enjoyable to prepare.

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ADHD Cooking: The Recipe on How to Manage Distractions in the Kitchen

ADHD & Cooking: Executive functions

ADHD can affect our brain's executive function. The executive function is responsible for planning, organizing, and self-regulation. This means that people with ADHD often have difficulty starting tasks, staying on task, and completing tasks. 

Although there are still things that individuals with ADHD like and excel at, cooking is a particularly difficult activity for me. The cooking itself is exciting, but there's a lot of prepping before you begin. It's not only about organizing, but also the techniques involved in getting ready to cook that I find difficult. I enjoy cooking and baking meals, yet the process of preparing them might sometimes give me anxiety.

The Difficulty of Following Instructions

Have you ever tried watching a cooking show or following a recipe online? I've seen Youtube videos about cooking and tried to do it, and I admit that trying to cook while watching a video is a bad idea. The stress I felt was genuine, and I almost burned my pot because of it. I was too absorbed in the directions for the "simple recipes" to realize that something was cooking on the stove.

ADHD & Cooking: Struggle to follow recipe

Cooking is a multi-step procedure, and I'm having trouble focusing on one thing since we only have a quick attention span. Some ADHD individuals tend to perform numerous tasks at the same time, such as chatting or listening to music while cooking. The point is that when we narrow our attention to one thing, it's difficult for us to remain aware of everything. 

ADHD & Cooking: Can forget important things

ADHD Symptoms and Grocery Shopping

Another expected struggle for an ADHD brain is grocery shopping of food and ingredients. First of all, making a grocery list and planning ahead of time is an overwhelming task for someone with ADHD. We can't seem to focus on getting the list done because we cannot picture what we are going to cook for the week. Then, when we get to the grocery store, our brain is all over the place. We might forget what we are looking for, or worse, we might buy things that we don't need because of the impulsiveness associated with ADHD. We can be easily distracted by other things, and what we need might sometimes get overlooked and forgotten completely. 

ADHD & Cooking: Can get easily distracted...

Our time sensitivity can also often affect our interest in doing the grocery. We sometimes feel that going to the market to buy food ingredients might take us a long time and it's not worth the time. So sometimes, we resort to buying food online or having our meals delivered at the comfort of our home instead of going out. As a result, our ADHD diet will certainly be affected by it.

When we finally decide to go out and do the grocery shopping, there are lots of things that irritate us the most. Waiting in long lines, analysis paralysis of ingredients, putting everything on the fridge or on to its proper place after purchase is very overwhelming for us most of the time.

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ADHD Brain: Let's Cook! Shall We?

Yes, we may have the energy and enthusiasm needed to cook our meals. We may have prepared everything else, the meat, veggies, the frying pan and all. We feel the fun in doing these meals and we happily succeed in maintaining focus on not burning the house down, and even created a delicious meal that everybody loved. However, after the process of cutting vegetables and preparing ingredients, and putting everything together, as well as cooking them, the next step is to clean up.

ADHD & Cooking: Can be a bit messy when we cook

Sometimes, cooking is my therapy when I want to get things off my mind. I love making dinner for everyone and producing foods that are healthy and delicious. But when I think of washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, and the pots that I used, I feel like everything is a big deal after cooking, making me postpone and just buy my meal outside. The fun that I usually feel when cooking is immediately replaced with dismay when I think of the tasks that I need to do after cooking.

Cooking Might be a Form of Bonding

As sometimes the cooking tasks can be overwhelming, we can ask for help. We can involve other people in this process, such as asking our partners to chop the ingredients and do some preparation for us, or we can ask our siblings or friends to help us mix all of the ingredients together. If we are preparing a meal for others, then it is even more helpful when they also help us in cooking. By involving them, we can spend more time with them and talk about important matters, or just catch up in life. We tend to see cooking as a daunting task, but it can create that window of opportunity to bond with people we care about.

ADHD & Cooking: Feel quickly discouraged when results are not what was expected

We might feel like cooking is not really an important skill to have, but it can reduce our feeling of stress and anxiety in life by allowing us to be more productive and feel good about ourselves. The feeling that we get after completing meal preparation is worth all of the effort. The hard work in cooking can be an expression of our love for others, giving us a sense of purpose in what we do.


Cooking can be a fun and rewarding experience for people with ADHD. It can help to manage distractions, stay focused, and bond with loved ones. While it may seem like a daunting task at first, the rewards are worth the effort. With a little planning and preparation, anyone can enjoy the benefits of cooking.

Remember that ADHD is complex and we all face different challenges
ADHD & Cooking

ADHD and Cooking: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).

How do I manage distractions while cooking?

There are a few things you can do to manage distractions while cooking. First, try to clear your mind before starting to cook. This means taking a few deep breaths and focusing on the task at hand. Second, make sure all of your ingredients are ready before you start cooking. This will help you stay focused on the task at hand. Finally, try to involve someone else in the process. This will help you stay focused and also bond with loved ones

What are some tips for staying focused while cooking?

Some tips for staying focused while cooking include clearing your mind before starting, making sure all ingredients are ready, and involving someone else in the process. Additionally, try to keep the kitchen clean as you cook. This will help you stay focused on the task at hand. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed.

What are some benefits of cooking?

Cooking can help to reduce stress and anxiety, bond with loved ones, and provide a sense of purpose. Additionally, it can help to manage distractions and stay focused. Cooking is also a great way to show your love for others. ‍

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