COOKING is the Best Intervention Ever for Kids with ASD

Life can be challenging for families with children on the spectrum. Parents are always on the internet looking for the latest & greatest interventions, scheduling their son or daughter for every kind of afterschool activity to help them develop & may never see the most obvious intervention!


Can Cooking Really Help Our Children Learn?

           Cooking is A Central task for Life

           Cooking connects us to our families

           Cooking connects us to our culture

           Cooking is a social activity

           Cooking is a physical activity

           Cooking involves problem solving

           Cooking is a sensory experience

           Cooking is a leisure activity

Well, Cooking Builds skills in our Children!

           Cooking involves planning

           Cooking involves organization

           Cooking develops focus & attention

           Cooking improves self-esteem

           Cooking improves balance & coordination

           Cooking improves strength & movement

           Cooking builds social skills

           Cooking builds comprehension

           Cooking can involve team work

           Cooking teaches safety

           Cooking teaches equipment use

           Cooking develops taste & smell

           Cooking teaches nutritional awareness

           Cooking teaches reading

           Cooking teaches math concepts

           Cooking incorporates communication & expands language


It Begins With:

           Planning a meal or snack

           Can include making a shopping list

           Going shopping & locating ingredients

           Exchanging money & making change

           Using cooking utensils & equipment

           Reading recipes

           Understanding measurement

           Learning to stir, chop, squeeze, pound, roll, cut, peel

           Involves pouring, filling, flipping, scooping, opening, greasing, spreading (motor & comprehension task)

           Cooking helps students build independence

           Cooking expands our students social awareness and connections (cooking classes, potlucks, holiday experiences, gift giving, sharing)

           Cooking teaches manners

           Cooking provides opportunities to take turns

           Cooking exposes children to new & different foods

           Cooking then provides reading opportunities

           Cooking develops organizing & planning and following sequence skills

           Cooking develops patience and accepting & delay in gratification

           When the cooking process is completed & the recipe finished & the meal shared, there is the clean up

           Cooking provides opportunities for our children to learn clean up skills & follow the dishwashing processes, kitchen cleanup process & meal table clean up

           Cooking Needs to Be Structured to Maximize its Effectiveness

           Possible Lesson Plans for Teachers!!

           Learning the Food Pyramid & Food Groups

           Reading and Understanding Food Labels

           Reading a Menu and Making Healthy choices

           Using money to budget a meal at a restaurant

           Navigating the grocery store: finding various items and charting where found inside the store

           Teach students to understand the various food groups & which foods fall within each category-using visual aids

           Teach students that foods have different nutritive values (some are ‘healthier’ than others)

           Help students understand they can make food choices & promote healthy food choices at school, home & community

           Promote functional life skill development by helping students learn to read a menu, make choices, & budget money

           Help promote independence by teaching students how to navigate the grocery store-both spatially & categorically

           Teach students about portion control when eating & what constitutes a ‘healthy plate’

           Cooking Improves motor planning, focus and self-esteem

           Yep it is an amazing education, therapeutic and life skill tool and it doesn’t require hiring a specialist to implement.

           Try it!!!

Karen Kaplan