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The Cookbook for Children with Special Needs


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Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. The Story of Food. 2. Keeping Safe. 3. Getting Started. Level One Recipes. Introduction to Level One. 1. Peckish Pita Pieces. 2. Baker's Bread. 3. Double Bedded Eggys. 4. Cheesy Popeye Pancakes. 5. Loaded Potatoes. 6. Minestrone Madness. 7. Farfellino Pasta. 8. Fruit Mountain. 9. Sticky Chocolate Cornflakes. 10. Aunty Deb Choc Chunk Cookies. Level Two Recipes. Introduction to Level Two. 1. Pizza The Italiano. 2. Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon. 3 Mushroom and Pea Risotto. 4. Crispy Mac N Cheese. 5. Lentil Soup with Cheesy Garlic Bread. 6. Ocean Fishcakes. 7. Fish Fingers with Wild West Wedges. 8. Classic Victoria Sponge. 9. Vanilla Ice Cream. 10. Gooey Chocolate Brownies. Level Three Recipes. Introduction to Level Three. 1. Simply Chicken with Basmati Rice. 2. Classic Chicken Noodle Soup. 3. Crunchy Chicken with Sweet and Sour Cabbage. 4. Creamy Chicken Sandwich. 5. The Ultimate Burger. 6. Spaghetti Bolognaise. 7. Roasted Turkey with Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Mash. 8. Crunchy Apple Crumble. 9. Cinnamon Pancakes with Maple Butter Syrup. 10. My First Chocolate Cake. Menu Ideas. Index.

Promotional Information

Learn to cook with these fun, easy guidelines and recipes ideal for children with special needs

About the Author

Deborah French is a cookery teacher and activity coordinator for children and their families with special needs. She dedicates her time to creating opportunities for children with special educational needs to participate in regular activities whilst educating the wider community about the daily challenges that these children face. Deborah has a son on the autism spectrum, a daughter with Down syndrome and young twins, and believes that education breaks down barriers and paves the way for integration and acceptance. She and her family live in Israel.


Doing cooking lessons with Debbie is really fun. I've learnt so many things. I was scared to crack an egg but Debbie said that it doesn't bite! Debbie taught me how to make soups, chicken, burgers, chocolate cupcakes and loads more. I love taking a bite of what we make and thinking 'Wow! This is heaven!' -- Liora, aged twelve
Liora really enjoys her cookery lessons. She has grown proficient and confident in many areas of food preparation and cookery. For me, home practice is the best, as she cooks us all the delicious things that she has learnt in class! -- Emma, mother of Liora
Debbie taught me that cooking could actually be fun and exciting. I also realized how simple a recipe could be if I read and follow it properly and most importantly I got to eat all the yummy food I made. I make many of my recipes at home and they are quick and easy. -- Talia, aged twelve

I have never been "attracted" to the kitchen and am not organized and never follow a recipe. Together with my daughter Talia we would practice the recipes after her class and she made me realize in order to create a successful dish, I need to follow a recipe and the process. In fact it has become quite enjoyable cooking quick and easy recipes.
I also learnt from Talia the basics of cooking and how to use various cooking utensils. I have found all the recipes to be intuitive and even my younger children are using Deborah's simple cooking methodology.

-- Beth Katzman, mother of Talia

Debbie's cookery class gives me good recipes and we come out of the class each week with really tasty and good food that we have made.
The class has taught me different and new ways of preparing food and taught me to be careful with the oven, gas top etc.
I have learnt to be organized in the kitchen and to tidy up after myself.
We are even allowed to add our own ideas to the cooking if it is suitable which I love.

-- Tom, aged eleven
There is no doubt that a diet rich in processed, convenience foods increases the risk of developing disease and leading a less fulfilling life. But if a child is not brought up to be able to cook and enjoy healthy meals, how are they to avoid such a diet when it is is so easy and cheap to find? This is why Deborah's book is so groundbreaking, on-target and refreshing - it is a complete guide for parents and carers to teach fundamental cooking skills to children while also intuitively showing children what a joy food and meal times should be: This is a message that will stick for life. The book is full of heart and happiness - I am so excited to recommend it to my patients. -- Dalia Weinreb Maori R.D., Clinical Specialist Registered Dietitian, Holistic Nutritionist, The Therapy Room, Cambridge

Every Special Education Program in the New York City public school system features classes with "Activities for Daily Living". Included, and of particular importance, are cookery classes. The Cookbook for Children with Special Needs is therefore an extremely valuable tool for such classes.
A consistent tone of encouragement, along with the logical transition of learning about food and safety in the kitchen, and the step by step procedure for each recipe, makes this book a "must have" for teachers.
In addition, the photographs, illustrations and space for comments creates a kid-oriented focus. It is an excellent guide for educators, parents and teachers alike.

-- Margo Donovan, Staff Developer, New York City Department of Special Education

For children with special needs, being involved in the kitchen can help overcome difficulties in various areas including: fine motor issues, difficulties with concentration and sensory, cognitive and emotional issues such as low self-esteem.
Exposure to new smells and tactile sensations may be helpful for kids with sensory sensitivities. Following a recipe develops the ability to follow multiple-step directions, as well as teaching problem-solving skills, increasing motor fluency, bilateral upper body movement, grading of movement and wrist rotation. Math skills, visual and spatial perceptual skills and reading skills will all be used too.
The emotional reward for a child experiencing a sense of responsibility by being entrusted with the task of preparing food allows the child to blossom with immeasurable satisfaction and pride.
In this informative and enjoyable book, Deborah French has enabled families with children with special needs, to spend time together doing fun and simple everyday activities in an easy and graded way. I would highly recommend it for all children!

-- Benita Rochberger, Developmental and Cognitive Occupational Therapist
I absolutely LOVE this book. It covers everything a child needs to know, in a simple, easy to follow way. The skill symbols are great. The layout makes absolute sense cover to cover. We were able to access some recipes really quickly and my son was able to follow and celebrate a successful piece of cookery. The Author's experience as a hand's on parent shines through. -- Mel Thomsett * Sensory Smart *

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