Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tasty Tuesday!

Life skills, self-care skills, or what we officially call ADLs (Adult Daily Living skills) make up an important part of our instruction. For my students, ADLs can and do include dressing oneself, using the bathroom, washing and grooming, cleaning, using transportation, using utensils and feeding oneself, etc...As my students get older, ADLs naturally include food preparation skills, as well. Learning to prepare simple snacks and meals is an important step in gaining independence - even if (like most of my students) they always will need some assistance.

Once a week, we do a cooking or food prep lesson. In addition to ADLs, of course, food prep addresses such skills as following directions, organization, time, measurement, etc. Something new I'm going to try this year is to take photos of each step of each food we prepare together and put them all together in a visual recipe booklet - for us to use in the classroom, to share with families, etc. Simple, numbered steps paired with a real photo are definitely going to help my kiddos be more independent if they want to re-make a recipe we cover in class.

I figured, why not offer our photo recipes to all of you lovely people? Since we usually do our cooking lesson on Tuesdays, I now present...Tasty Tuesday! I hope to post our visual recipe each Tuesday, and I hope it will be of use to some of you who are teaching similar ADLs or who just want some new recipes to try (no, we do nothing gourmet, so don't expect that!).

Today we made salsa! What a fun thing to make during fresh produce season! Last week, we were also reading Chicks and Salsa during our morning circle, so it was a fun connection.
Chicks and Salsa contains a salsa recipe, but this one isn't it. It's just something that sounded good...and it did turn out deliciously! Even some of my *cough* less adventurous eaters tried it at lunch today!

I've uploaded the visual/photo recipe to Scribd, so feel free to snag it if you'd like:

(The adorable Chevron frame for the title page of the recipe is from Teaching in a Small Town.)

This was definitely an "assembly" type of recipe, since I certainly don't let my kiddos chop vegetables with sharp knives...so that's why it starts with the veggies already chopped. Classroom staff prepped and then our students followed directions to put together the salsa. This was also such a great sensory experience for my kids - all but one had never smelled cilantro before. We smelled each ingredient before adding it! The vivid colors are a visual bonus, too :)

Also, there are still about 2 hours left to enter my 200 Followers Giveaway. I will announce the winner tomorrow!


  1. I love the colors! What a great, healthy snack! My whole group is very picky and/or allergic so I wonder how this would go over with them! I have trouble also with making group dishes due to cleanliness. I have them all wash their hands and sanitize but by the time it is their turn I have to remove their fingers from their mouths and/or noses! Ick! Do you have any issues with the cleanliness factor during cooking activities? Thanks for sharing!

    Miss Allison's Class

    1. Allison, thankfully we do not have any food allergies in our classroom. We do, however, have very picky eaters! We had tortilla chips with the salsa (which they all love) and my rule was you had to try some salsa if you were going to eat any chips. They all had at least a taste, and some found out they enjoyed the salsa though some declined a second taste :)

      Cleanliness is definitely an issue - we wash hands before the activity starts, and then keep a bottle of sanitizer on the table. Directly before their individual turn(s) they must sanitize as well. Any major issues we see, like sneezing into a hand or fingers in mouth, we require a second hand wash entirely. We have a bathroom in our classroom so that's pretty easy to do.



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