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Cooking with Dyscalculia


Top tips on cooking with dyscalculia from Natalie, head of Food Education at Food Behind Bars

Top Tips from the wonderful Natalie Head of Food Education at Food Behind Bars


  • Invest in some digital scales that measure both grams and mils, that way you can weigh liquids rather than having to use a measuring jug
  • Have your phone with a timer and calculator on you whilst cooking so that you can set timers for how long things will take to cook – read the packet instructions/ recipe a few times
  • A portion of fresh/frozen fruit or vegetables is 80 grams
  • A portion of Dried fruit is 30 grams
  • You need 5 portions to get your 5 a day
  • Don’t be afraid to use pre prepared fruit and vegetables, they can make cooking less overwhelming and easier to weigh 
  • Take your time when weighing out ingredients for baking and read the recipe a few times before starting
  • highlight or underline the quantities and check the ingredients list on the side and the method – as sometimes they sneak in cooking times or extra ingredient quantities in the method
  • Don’t worry if it doesn’t work the first time, there is nothing wrong with making mistakes or practising 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you can – my husband does the dividing of portions  for us because I find it hard to visualise amounts and he is much faster
  • 1 teaspoon is 5 grams
  • 1 tablespoon is 15 grams


  • So if you are feeding 2 people 1 portion of fruit or vegetables each you can add 80+80 on your calculator to get 160 grams and then you can divide the 160 grams in half on your plates etc. Or you can zero your calculator, weigh the 80g transfer to a plate and then zero it again and do another 80 grams if you feel more comfortable doing it that way – this is what I usually do the first few times.

For more Top Tips for Dyscalculic Adults – https://dyscalculianetwork.com/dyscalculia-for-adults/

An image of some kitchen scales with a bowl on them with pepper in it. The scales show 80g
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