Teaching Children with Disabilities How to Cook
Cooking with your kids is a picture-perfect moment that new parents
dream of one day sharing with their children. If you have a child
with disabilities, you may wonder if whipping up a batch of cookies
together is a possibility for you and your child.
Kids Cooking Activities Teaching Materials
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in theme sets and books with an easy to read format
Perfect for teaching!
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Teaching kids with disabilities how to cook isn't only possible;
it's also an important life skill to promote independence in kids
with special needs.
However, it does require some special
For children with physical disabilities, home modifications
may be necessary to create an adaptive kitchen. You don't have to
complete a full kitchen remodel if it's not in your budget. Rather,
find adaptive solutions for the areas your child will need most.
Installing an open space under the sink makes it accessible to
wheelchair users, while a side-by-side refrigerator improves
accessibility over top-freezer models. You can use the kitchen table
as a seated workspace or follow ND Assistive's recommendation and
install pull-out lower counter space.
Setting up your Kitchen
designed for kids give your child the
freedom to experiment in the kitchen while relieving parental
anxieties about handing your budding cook a sharp knife. And because
many kid-friendly kitchen tools are designed with ergonomics in
mind, they're easier for children with fine motor impairment to
maneuver. However, if your child proves herself able, don't be
nervous to advance to the adult versions. As long as knives are kept
sharp and children are instructed on proper handling, cutting and
slicing is perfectly safe. Nervous parents can turn to A Healthy
Slice of Life for step-by-step instructions on teaching kids how to
Once your kitchen is set up, it's time to introduce cooking
concepts. Wait for a day you have plenty of time for hands-on teaching
, not an
evening you're rushed to get dinner on the table. Cutting and
peeling vegetables, mixing ingredients, and shaping cookies are good
places to start. First, gather ingredients and equipment and explain
each item to your child so he understands its name and use. Describe
what you plan to do, then teach by slowly modeling the process,
repeating as necessary. Repetition and consistency are key. Once
your child understands a concept, allow him to try with you hand
over hand before graduating to independent practice.
your child while cooking until he's
experienced and able enough to do it alone. However, realize that
you only have two eyes, and you can't monitor everything at once.
It's important to have safety measures in place to prevent fires
accidents. Keep flammable items away from the stove, point pot and
pan handles toward the wall, keep hair pulled back, and don't wear
loose clothing while cooking. Make sure the smoke detector and fire
extinguisher work and that everyone knows what to do in the event of
an emergency. See more about kitchen
Having Fun Cooking
Cooking with your child should be an experience that promotes
self-confidence. To that end, it's important to keep the
environment relaxed, fun, and positive.
Start with simple
tasks that are within your child's established ability level to
build confidence and do your best not to react with frustration when
your child struggles with a task or fails to follow instructions.
Instead, use mistakes as a signal that you need to slow down and
reinforce rules and lessons. When your child shows interest in an
ingredient, recipe, or technique, seek out safe ways to explore that
interest instead of writing things off as too difficult.
~ Teaching your child to cook is special for parents. But when your
child has disabilities, making your cooking lessons safe and
effective requires a little extra planning. However, that doesn't
mean it's not possible-far from it! When you follow this advice, you
can ensure your child's first cooking experience is a positive one.
Thanks to our guest post by Ashley Taylor
Resources for Teaching Children to Cook:
How to start a business
What do you learn in the
Add lessons to your homeschooling
Teaching Life Skills
Interested in the Kitchen
5 cooking tips
- Need help
getting kids interested in helping in the kitchen?
Stress Free Cooking
6 Ideas to teach
beyond the kitchen
10 Reasons for Kids To Learn
Kids Cooking Lesson Plans
Follow Kids Cooking Activities