Creating a Bariatric-Friendly Kitchen
By: Vincenza N. Garcia, RD, CDN
Healthy meal preparation is a key component to successful weight loss after bariatric surgery. One of the first steps to meal preparation is making sure your kitchen is set up with the right tools and appliances. Listed below are my favorite kitchen items that I recommend to patients when preparing for bariatric surgery:
- Cooler/Tote Bag with optional ice pack – Great for packing food on the go, especially perishable items that need to be kept cold such as yogurts or protein shakes. I recommend packing your cooler/tote bag every morning with the items you will need for your work/school day so that you have healthy choices already on hand when hunger strikes.
- Small Utensil Set – Great for use when eating your meal to ensure you take small bites.
- Bariatric Cookbook(s) – Avoid boredom with your meals by collecting recipes from a bariatric-friendly cookbook to create meals that are easy to follow, yet tasty!
- Digital Food Scale – a Must Have!! Use this to measure the ounces / grams of various food items such as chicken, fish, cheese, nuts, and more! Portion control is key to your success.
- Measuring Cups – Use this to measure your vegetables or liquids.
- Reusable plastic storage containers – These are great to have when you are meal prepping in advance to create your own grab-n-go meals. They can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and are a great addition to your kitchen!
- Kitchen Timer – Use this to slow down the pace of your meals (which helps promote satiety).
- Blender/Food Processor – Helpful for making protein drinks but also essential during the pureed food phase of the post-surgical diet.
- Small plates – A smaller plate size often means eating less.
- Water Tumbler / Water Infuser bottle – Great for tracking how many ounces you are drinking per day. Water Infuser bottles provide an insert that you can add fresh fruits, vegetables, or herbs to help flavor your water naturally.