FAQ: Cooking Help {and some freebies}

If you living in the special ed world you have probably heard of using cooking lessons in the classroom. This always sounds really weird to people at first. I get confused faces and some weird reactions from those out of the loop. But a lot of time we know how cooking activities can be awesome but we don’t really know why or how to make them this way!

Cooking activities rock my world because my little bundles of love are always (shockingly) perfectly behaved. Those attention seeking and escape behaviors that drive me up the wall every other second of the day are sometimes mysteriously gone. Why? Because my kids are chomping at the bit to participate in cooking. What is more motivating than food right? Now while these cooking activities can be amazingly fun and beneficial, if not planned and prepared for properly – you will have a crazy hot mess on your hands.

Cooking is great to work on expressive/receptive language, sequencing, requesting, question answering, fine motor skills, measuring, counting, matching, life skills, independent living skills… you sold yet?

How to prepare:

  1. Visual or Adapted Recipe: I have made a lot of my own visual recipes for items for my students who are lower functioning or non-readers. I have some freebies on here (double fudge, pineapple smoothie, pumpkin waffles, Thanksgiving food) and I also have some sets on TpT (Pb&J and Mini Pizzas, Rice Krispies and Chocolate Pie,  French Toast and Caramel Apples). I have got to upload some more – I have tons. The freebie will give you ideas on what I mean. My SLP will make two version of each recipe – a visual one for my lower kids and I written one (written in simple language) for my higher kids. We also make corresponding PECS pictures for the recipes. For higher kids you can also use a recipe on a box and highlight right on the box to make it easier to follow. That’s a great quick and easy accommodation.
  2. Get everything ready ahead of time. Have all of you kitchen equipment, food, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, etc. My SLP and I like to leave the food in the fridge or cabinet so the kids need to discriminate correctly where each food item is stored (ie. is milk in the fridge or the cabinet?).
  3. Have loads of visuals ready! Have your behavior management visuals or token economies on hand!  Oh yea need more visuals? I thought you would never ask! Well here ya go! Download at the bottom 🙂

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Download kitchen rules, first then, and things that are hot. Enjoy! 🙂 Let me know how they work for your kiddos!


That’s not enough freebies for you? I thought not! On this cooking theme – today’s Freebie February is Rice Krispie and Chocolate Pie Visual Recipe Packet! Free today from 12pm – 7pm CST! YAY cooking fun! Don’t forget to ‘like’ The Autism Helper on facebook to grab all the great freebies 🙂

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  1. My class did the rice crispy recipe you had for Halloween (minus orange food coloring) last month as our weekly cooking. They loved it!! I was just saying to my mom last night after we made it for dessert last night (finished off supply’s) I wish I had the recipe without the food coloring part to send home. You posted it!!! So excited and my class will be too when I send it home with them tomorrow:) Thanks again, I think these rice crispy treats are better than the one I made growing up and they are a lot easier to make!! Thanks again:)

  2. Yay! So happy you like it 🙂

  3. I found your site through your TPT store. I started doing cooking with my students this year (previously has a child with a million allergies, so cooking was not an option). I love not having to make something new each week. These visuals with rules and expectations are perfect. Thanks!

  4. You are very welcome! Happy you like them : )

  5. Love, love this!
    We cook every Friday with four little chefs in our kindergarten class.
    They enjoy creating the snack for all the other classmates. Your signs and rules will add to our learning experiences. Thanks a bunch.

  6. Thanks for reading! 🙂


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