Cooking is a positive experience that can bring families together to create a delicious meal, and it can be made easily accessible for all to enjoy.
“At The Children’s Trust we see how much fun cooking can be,” enthuses Sharon Tuppeny, head of therapy rehabilitation, The Children’s Trust.
From the fundamentals of cooking, including food preparation, healthy balanced diets to cooking skills: going into the kitchen is the perfect way to educate children and young people with disabilities in healthy eating.
Not all recipes need to be complicated, in fact, cooking is easy, fun – not to mention therapeutic.
The Children’s Trust is currently working on a new accessible recipe book that you can use at home, expected release date in summer 2020, to bring your kitchen to life.
“Children and young people have taken part in cooking groups, and have tested the recipes that make up our new cookbook,” continues Sharon.
At The Children’s Trust – a charity that supports children with brain injury and neurodisability, providing rehabilitation and education – during rehabilitation, young people learn new skills in groups or individual sessions with a multidisciplinary team, which includes occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and the play team.
And a fantastic way to aid rehabilitation, or mobility and sensory awareness is through cooking.
“Cooking has so many benefits,” Sharon adds. “It helps with developing confidence and independence in daily living skills; working on attention, planning and problem-solving skills as you choose and follow recipes; and fine motor skills when you pick up and use equipment such as a knife, grater or mixing spoon.”
“Spending time in the kitchen can also be a great social activity,” adds Sharon. “There’s that real sense of achievement when the smell of the dish wafts through the kitchen and you or your friends or family sit down to enjoy the delicious meal you made!”
With extra time, it’s the perfect opportunity to get into the kitchen with your children or young people and get cooking. Regardless of ability, this is an activity sure to improve development across the board – as Sharon emphasised.
Communication to culinary skills, dexterity to mobility progression, healthy eating and awareness of food, what’s not to enjoy?
Top tip: Visit Accessible Chef for a list of recipes to create and let’s get cooking together.