Simple Fall Recipes Children with Special Needs Can Help With

Cooking is such a huge part in our everyday lives and we spend so much time either preparing a meal or eating one. Imagine how much quality time you can spend with your child if you included them in the process. Children love helping and it makes them feel important and one of the grown ups, but it can be difficult to find a recipe that allows participation. We know it can be extremely challenging to cook with a child, and we highly suggest reviewing any of your child’s allergy or sensitivities before continue, but we have put together a list of simple fall recipes that may help ease your child into the world of cooking.

Fall Colored Leaf Cookies. When thinking of fall, the image of colorful leaves usually pops up in our minds. This cookie recipe take advantage of that and represents the beautiful fall leaves. The only extra materials needed (besides the cookie dough) is leaf cookie cutters and food coloring. This can be a fun time to go out with your child and look at the leaves. Have them observe the colors and then go back in and pick out the needed food coloring. You can buy sugar cookie dough or make your own. Separate the cookie dough into smaller potions in a couple bowls. Your child can help you put drops of food coloring in the selected bowls or supervise to let you know if more is needed to bring out the color. After mixing the food coloring in and combining the dough, your child may be able to help the rolling process. They may not be able to physically use the roller, but they could start the process by smashing the dough down, making it thinner for you to roll. After that, have them help you use the cookie cutters to make the leaves, then bake them. Your child will love helping you make cookies and might even learn a thing or two about fall colors.

Candy Cornucopia. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and this can be a fun way to involve your child. It is also super simple. Some waffle cones and little treats such as M&M’s can make a cute holiday desert for the kids. While the parent will have to do the molding with the points of the cones to make the cornucopia shape, the child can help dip the cones and fill them. You can also give them a couple of options they can pick from to fill the cornucopia. Wrap them with clear plastic wrap and it’s a cute cornucopia treat recipe. You can also turn this into something educational and explain what a cornucopia is.

Pumpkin Muffins. Pumpkins are a huge part of fall so why not make some tasty muffins with them. This recipe is basic and only takes 10 minutes to prepare and then 15 minutes to bake. They can help with stirring all the ingredients together and even sifting the flour mixture. Your child may even be able to help pour the mix into the muffin tray. Try giving them a smaller ladle with the amount needed for each muffin cup. This way they won’t overfill. Don’t forget to let your child be in charge of the timer. Even let them take a peek at the muffins to see the process.

Apple Pie Crescents. Apples are another fall related food item. For this recipe, you can use canned apple slices or just cut up apples. Consider going to an apple orchard and letting the children pick out their own apples. That could be a fun family activity. All you need for this recipe is the apples, caramel syrup, cinnamon, and crescent dough. You can lay out the dough pieces and have the child place one apple slice per dough. Either you or the child could sprinkle some cinnamon and then roll it up. The next step is baking. Once again, put your child in charge of the timer and have them check on the progress. After the apple crescents are done, pour some caramel on top and enjoy.

Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix. If your child loves trail mix, try this pumpkin seed version for a fall recipe twist. Have your child help combine all the seeds into a bowl, add some maple syrup, and let them stir it all together. The next step includes spreading the mix onto a pan for cooking. This could be a fun (and messy) way to get your child more involved. Let them use their hands (cool sensory) or a large spoon to spread the mix onto the pan. Sprinkle some salt on the mix and pop into the oven for 20 minutes. Of course, let your child be in charge of the timer. After the seeds are done and cool, add the remaining ingredients to complete the recipe.

Cooking can be a great time to involve your child, but it can also produce some challenges. It may be hard to figure out how and when to include them. It is necessary to figure out how your child can help and they will love being apart of the process. It will make your child feel important and proud. We hope these five recipes can work for your family or inspire you to find other simple ways your child can help out in the kitchen. If you have a fun, simple recipe that a child with special needs can help with, submit it through a comment.

If you have any questions about Cerebral Palsy or cooking with special needs children, don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 692-4453 or fill out our contact form on Facebook or our website.