2011 National Parenting Publications: Honors Award
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. She also believes cooking together is a way for a parent and child to connect, establishing the type of shared experiences that are the foundation of a cognitive behavior therapy called Relational Development Intervention (RDI), which has proven to be very effective in helping children with autism, including her son. Read Gabrielle's guest post on the RDIconnect blog.
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.
Watch the author and her son make banana bread together!
The Kitchen Classroom engages kids of all ages (as young as 18 months) and can be used with students with a variety of developmental or learning disabilities. Instructions in the book include handy icons that tell parents and teachers what skill can be practiced at what
stage of the cooking process. Kneading dough, breaking eggs, pouring, stirring, measuring--all these activities offer the chance for sensory input and to practice language, math, motor, and social skills. Even shopping for ingredients or cleaning up together provides teachable
moments and builds independence. Advice on safety in the kitchen, making easy substitutions, and adapting activities to meet the needs of different children makes this a complete resource.
Just as Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer cherishes the tradition of cooking with her own children as she did with her grandmother, other families can discover the satisfaction of making meals together and building healthy eating habits.
The Kitchen Classroom book and CD-ROM
give families and teachers everything they need to get cooking and building skills for a lifetime!
Visit the author's Kitchen Classroom 4 Kids blog where you'll find recipes, upcoming events, photo galleries, and helpful links!
Read articles by Gabrielle & watch media events with Gabrielle:
Blip TV, Let's Talk Autism with Shannon & Nancy show
Age of Autism
Awe in Autism