How to Use Cooking to Develop Your Child’s Speech and Language Skills

Cooking can be a fun, family bonding activity, as well as an opportunity to practice important speech and language skills. Plus, you get rewarded with a tasty treat in the end! What could be better? 😊

Speech and language skills utilized during cooking activity:

  • Following directions: pictures can be used as visuals
  • Labeling verbs: stir, spray, cut, cook, pour, mix, etc.
  • Descriptive terms: how ingredients look, feel, taste, smell
  • Sequencing actions: what you do first, last, next, then
  • Speech sounds: practice saying words, phrases, sentences out loud to practice speech sounds
  • WH” questions: ask what, when, where, and why questions while cooking
  • Initiating speech and requests: let your child lead the activity and ask for help as needed
  • Labeling: label ingredients and materials used
  • Turn-taking: take turns adding ingredients
  • Time management: how long does a recipe take to make from start to finish

Below you can find recipes along with pictures of verbs (courtesy of Unity language system) that you can use as visuals with your child. Biscuit pizza is my personal favorite, as I grew up making this with my mother often. Enjoy!


Main Dish: Biscuit Pizza

Ingredients:
2 cans Pillsbury™ Flaky Layers refrigerated Buttermilk biscuits
¾ cup pizza sauce
80 pepperoni slices (from two 3.5-oz. pkg.)
4 oz. (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  1. Turn oven to 400°F. Grease cookie sheets.

  2. Pull dough apart into 10 biscuits. Separate each biscuit into 4 layers; place on greased cookie sheets.

  3. Put 1 teaspoon of pizza sauce on each biscuit.

  4. Set 2 pepperoni slices and 2 teaspoons of cheese on top of each biscuit.

  5. Bake at 400°F. for 7 to 9 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.


Snack: Guacamole

Ingredients:
3 ripe avocados
1 lime
1–2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely minced
Large pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Cut avocados. Run a knife around the avocado (from top to bottom) and twist in half. Pull out and discard the pit.

  2. Take off the flesh and place into a medium-sized bowl (using spoon or thumb).

  3. Cut the lime in half and squeeze both halves into the bowl with the avocado..

  4. Add the garlic, salt and any/all or none of the optional ingredients.

  5. Beat each avocado half a few times (using a fork) and then stir all ingredients together.


Dessert: Ice pops

Ingredients:
1 lb fresh or frozen fruit of your choice (thawed if frozen)
2-4 Tbsp liquid of your choice

Materials:
Wooden sticks
Ice cube tray

Instructions:

  1. Add the ingredients in a blender and blend until there are no chunks in the mixture. The consistency should resemble thin pancake batter.

  2. Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for approximately 30 minutes, or until partially frozen.

  3. Put in the wooden sticks and return trays to the freezer for another 3 to 5 hours.

Elena Freeman, MEd, CCC-SLP


References:
https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/flaky-biscuit-pizza-snacks/c4f75104-1b4d-4bb8-99b3-2db770ac8bc8
https://www.theendlessmeal.com/easy-guacamole-recipe/
https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2016/06/homemade-ice-pops/
https://www.prentrom.com/prc_advantage/free-software-download-pass

Image Courtesy Pixabay/Title Added

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