I am the author of The Kitchen Classroom: 32 GFCF Recipes to Boost Devlopmental Skills (Woodbine House). In 2011, "The Kitchen Classroom" won the 2011 National Parenting Publications Honors award for Parenting Resources. Here's some info about The Kitchen Classroom:
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.
As a professional cooking teacher and parent of a son with autism, I show how, with a little planning and preparation, parents and teachers can make cooking a rich learning experience, as well as a chance to connect with their child or student. 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.
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 I cherish the tradition of cooking with my own children as I did with my grandmother when I was a girl, 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!
AND...I am now leading "Kitchen Classroom" workshops for parents, kids & parents, educators & therapists all over the country. Click here for workshop information.