Teaching Cooking To Children With Special Needs
We are still sharing “Bake For Family Fun Month” in February and today we want to talk about how we can help our children with special needs learn the skills of cooking, so they learn to become more independent in the future. Teaching cooking to children with special needs is very important.
Getting children with special needs involved in the kitchen can be challenging, but is so important. It’s a great way for them to:
- Build self esteem
- Learning how to follow directions and obtain the ingredients necessary
- Work as a team
- Work on speech
- Learn basic math and reading
Cooking can also help them with:
- Fine motor
- Gross motor
- and sensory input
Getting your children in the kitchen can also help them to get used the loud sounds of blenders, food processors, etc and also allows them to get used to different textures.
But just like us reading recipes can be somewhat confusing. Well there are wonderful cookbooks and visuals that can help your child walk through the necessary steps of cooking a dish. Here are some wonderful resources:
The Kitchen Classroom – 2011 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA): Honors Award, Parenting Resources
For kids who need extra help with sensory integration, motor, language, communication, and attention skills, cooking offers a multitude of opportunities to help them work on these skills while having fun. Professional cooking teacher and parent of a son with autism, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, shows how, with a little planning and preparation, parents and teachers can make cooking a rich learning experience, as well as a chance to connect with their child or student. THE KITCHEN CLASSROOM includes a book for parents and teachers with 32 quick and tasty gluten-free (GF) and casein-free (CF) recipes with specific teaching tips and a color photo of each finished dish. Also included is a CD-ROM with simple step-by-step instructions and almost 500 color photos illustrating the process of each recipe in detail so kids (readers and nonreaders) can follow along, see what happens next, and practice doing some steps on their own. Print the photo sequences and put them in a binder for future use, or view them on your laptop during cooking sessions.
The Picture Cookbook, No-Cook Recipes for the Special Chef -There has never been a cookbook like this, nor has there been a book that could improve the lives of families with special needs members more than this book has the potential to do. After a futile search to buy a book for teaching her daughter to cook, the author eventually wrote the book she had sought to buy. The first in a series of four cookbooks for budding chefs with special needs including autism, attention deficit disorder, DownÂ’s Syndrome, AlzheimerÂ’s disease, illiteracy, advanced or young age, The Picture Cookbook is the result of the authorÂ’s four years of efforts teaching her own autistic daughter to cook and bake.
Special Day Cooking, A Life Skills Cookbook – Special Day Cooking – A first-of-its kind life skills cookbook written for people with developmental challenges. Special Day Cooking presents a proven approach to cooking that has been shown successful! All recipes have been successfully cooked and enjoyed over many years by young people with challenges. All recipes are in large type, and are formatted in consistent, easy to follow steps. There are beginning recipes to start with and more involved recipes once the cooking process has been learned. This ground-breaking book is a collection of delicious everyday recipes that are: Safe, Can be completed in 1 hour or less, A fun activity to do with family & friends.