Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

Quarantine Cooking with Kids, Lessons & Home Economics

Quarantine Cooking

There is so much for our kiddos to learn this week – yes, even OUTSIDE the classroom!  Today, we’re focusing on cooking and home economics and….cleaning.  Yup, I said it.  It’s time to get to work.

Did you know our very own MSNN Admin Delainie Baker is a professional cook?  She has spent countless hours perfecting recipes and creating masterpieces that people all over the world enjoy.  Cooking is such a wonderful way to help children learn and practice some basic math concepts and build language skills.  So today, Delainie is going to share with us some fantastic ways to get your kiddos involved and get to cooking!

Cooking teaches so many skills in a variety of subjects.

  • Math skills such as counting, fractions, sequencing (determining the order of events), measuring and shapes; problem-solving; increasing vocabulary
  • Chemistry and science skills such as making predictions, understanding how food changes while cooking;
  • Geography: where different foods grow and why they grow best there
  • Cultural: The diet of people in other parts of the world
  • CREATIVITY! Colors, shapes, textures
  • History: how people from past generations ate
  • Health Lessons: cleanliness, safety, understanding nutrition and food groups
  • Social Skills: greater independence, contributions to family and community, learn responsibility, cooperation, and sharing.

Cooking also helps to develop fine motor skills by whisking, measuring, pouring, sifting, and rolling.  Gross motor skills can be worked on my stirring, chopping, or kneading.

There are a ton of simple tasks that children of all ages and abilities can do to help create a recipe:

  • Pour liquid into a bowl
  • Sprinkle cheese on top of a casserole
  • Use cookie cutters, graters, peelers
  • Squeezing the juice from a lemon or lime
  • Measuring ingredients into cups and spoons
  • Beating eggs or mashed potatoes

Those of us who have children with extra needs sometimes have challenges that we must help our kiddos overcome, including:

Sensory Challenges
You know what I’m talking about – the slimy feel of an egg or raw meat.  These are called texture aversions and an easy way to help combat that is by having your kiddo wearing non-latex gloves while cooking.  They are thin enough to still provide sensory input.  Smells, like onions, can also be challenging.  One way to fix this is to refrigerate the onion prior to cutting to help cut down on the fumes.  And here’s a little trick:  have your kiddo wear a pair of “onion goggles” while chopping.  (**NOTE:  I may have let my daughter wear a pair of my sunglasses and called them special cooking glasses to help.)  Also – have you ever heard of kid-safe knives?  These are available on Amazon and are amazing!

Motor Challenges
People can have motor challenges that affect what they can or cannot do in the kitchen.  For example, people with low muscle tone may have reduced arm strength, which is needed for chopping or stirring.  People may have challenges with coordination, gradation, modulating pressure – and that’s OK!  Remember to practice supportive hand-over-hand, verbal prompts, and show demonstrations next to them (not in front of them).  Try lots of different utensils.  And don’t be afraid if it’s not perfect!

Following Directions
Yeah, even the best chefs in the world have a tough time following directions!  Best thing to teach kiddos how to follow a recipe’s directions is to break it up into manageable parts:

  1. First, list the appliances, sheets/pots/pans, and utensils that will be needed.
  2. Next, list all the ingredients
  3. Finally, list the instructions

Take your time and enjoy the process with your kiddos!  This is a special time for you to make memories and some great food.

Delainie has also shared with us some of her favorite kid-friendly recipes.

Choc Chip Cookies


Chocolate Chip Cookies

“Probably the best chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever make. I’ve never had a complaint, and these are the most requested cookies ever. Great for ice cream sandwiches.” (Click image in enlarge)





Homemade Pizza Dough (LINK)
“My kids love making homemade pizza, and this recipe from Baked by an Introvert is an easy, no-fail recipe. Great for having kiddos measure, mix, and knead. Not only can it be used for regular pizza, but it can make a baked dessert with butter, brown sugar and topped with almonds.”


Pancake Art

“This is a super fun way to combine the love of pancakes with art and learning.  Super simple – just use prepared pancake batter (or make your own) and divide the batter into the bottles.  Add food coloring (use gel for brighter colors), and shake, shake, shake.  Lightly oil your pan and when it’s warm, gently squeeze patterns of the colored batter onto the pan.”






Kool-Aid Playdough
“Ok – this is not really a food recipe, but more of a sensory recipe…but we’ve made this a thousand times!  Smells great, and kiddos can mouth it without getting sick, a good sensory tool and super fun! Last about 3 months in an airtight container.”  (Click image to enlarge)





A big thank you to our special contributor – Delainie Baker for today’s words of wisdom and recipes.


Comments, discussion and insight always welcome!

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This entry was posted on March 18, 2020 by in All.
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