Teaching individuals how to cook is one of the best things we can do to prepare them for independent living. These supports offer skills that will get us going in the kitchen!
As life skills teachers, one of our most important focuses is preparing individuals for independent living. One aspect of this is teaching individuals to feed and care for themselves and others. Learning how to cook is especially important. When teaching individuals cooking skills, we teach them about nutrition, self-care, safety, and planning. These lessons give some activities that will get individuals excited about cooking well.
Part of cooking is learning how to plan menus thoughtfully. The activities in our sections will help individuals understand how important planning can be for cooking.
Dinners for a Week
Individuals practice in groups for this activity. We give each group a set of cookbooks or recipe websites to work with. Life skills trainers consistently explain and plan a week's worth of dinners for themselves. Individuals should take dietary restrictions into account when relevant.
After individuals have chosen recipes, they make shopping lists based on their selections, and then they research the approximate costs of the ingredients they need. We ask them to make at least three changes to their plans in the interest of saving money.
Next, individuals look back at their menus again with an eye toward nutrition. Each group writes up the nutritional benefits as well as the deficits in their planning.
Plan to be Healthy
Individuals select a partner and come up with a day's worth of meals that involve cooking. They plan breakfast, lunch, dinner and one or two snacks. Each meal involves some amount of hands-on preparation. The key is the total food for the day overall should meet nutritional guidelines for their age and gender. Once individuals have come up with a solid plan, they share and discuss the challenges and surprises that might have come up.
Of course, as important as planning is, it is even more useful to get individuals involved in actual cooking. These activities are safe, helpful, and meaningful for individuals' development.
There are numerous other independent living skills taught at ABI Resources. Some of the services include Planning for the future, Healthy Relationships, Living Well with a Disability, Positive Attitudes and Overcoming Barriers, Art Expression, and Money Management. These are just a few of the many supported living services that are available. If you or a loved one is interested in meeting with ABI Resources, we loved to talk with you.