What's Cooking in Speech??? - The Autism Helper

What’s Cooking in Speech???

There are so many fun Halloween recipes!  This month I let some of my groups of students vote on which recipe to make.  With my older students I usually do one cooking activity a month.  In these groups at the beginning of the month we plan out our speech sessions for the entire month.  I like having the students know the routine for the month and which day we are cooking and what.  This month each group voted on which recipe….the choices were Harvest Trail Mix, Pumpkin Fluff, or Oreo Spiders.  All 3 recipes are not hard to prep so I didn’t mind if my groups all choice different recipes.  Plus I knew I would be doing cooking with my preschool and kindergarten groups too so I could use the left over ingredients.

Pumpkin Fluff was a huge success.  Since this recipe is pretty simple, I try and let the higher groups problem solve together and rely on less prompting from me.  For example, my student asked for the can of pumpkin pie filling and I gave it to him.  I told him to open it and he tried to open the can with his hands and then passed it to a friend to help.  It took a couple minutes and tries from multiple students to open the can before the students figured out they needed a can opener.  This is why I love cooking because I can target some of those problem solving skills and really see the students work through completing a multi-step task.

The took turns adding all four ingredients – Pumpkin pie filling, pudding mix, cinnamon, and whipped cream and using the hand mix to blend it all together.

We dipped pretzel sticks, apple slices, and graham crackers into the pumpkin fluff and it was delicious!  After we finished eating we voted on which dipper we liked best.

The students can also complete the visual or written questions after they finish making and eating the pumpkin fluff.  For my higher students I had them write how to make the Pumpkin Fluff using those transition words such as First, Next, and Last.  It was a good recipe for that because there are not too many steps and the students could remember the order of the four ingredients.

This recipe is not difficult to make but it has 8 different ingredients with different amounts which makes it challenging for the students to know what item to request, the amount to put in, and to re-sequence the steps.

Again since I was trying to let my students problem solve throughout the recipe we had to figure out how many ingredients each student would get to add for a group of 4 students.  Then the students had to ask their peers if they could put in a specific ingredient so we all got our turn.

This recipe is also great to work on those descriptive concepts.  There are crunchy items, soft items, sweet items, salty item, and more.  For this recipe instead of writing the steps to make the recipe because it was so long, I just had the student write the ingredients and 2-3 descriptive concepts to describe the item.  For example – Pretzel – “salty, crunchy, brown”.   You can also have the students answer the written questions which go along with the recipe.

Who doesn’t love Oreo Spiders?  This is another great recipe to work on following directions and sequencing.  Plus they are made with Oreo cookies!

The students open the Oreos and add 8 pretzel sticks for the legs.  Then place the top back on the Oreo.  Add 2 M & M eyes and the Spiders are ready to eat.  Again since the recipe is simple to make it is a good recipe to make the students work on writing the steps to complete the recipe.

If you are interested in any of these recipes click the following links.

Pumpkin Fluff and Harvest Trail Mix

Spider Cookies



  1. I recently moved from a school system in one state where our special ed team completed cooking activities with students nearly weekly. Now, I live in a state where it’s determined to be a health code violation to do these very functional activities. :~ ( Even combining commercially prepared foods (like in the Chex mix) is against the rules. Have others run into this? How do you get around it? Personally, I think it’s robbing students of the opportunity to develop a very important life skill–and these are kids in life skills classes.

  2. Great Job, Sarah!

  3. would love to have a copy for our special kids

  4. Ugh that’s so unfortunate! Sorry to hear that. Is there any wiggle room? Have you tried arguing your case?

  5. Speech Diva, would it matter if you had a food handlers license? They’re not difficult to get. Just a suggestion!

  6. Great suggestion!


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