Preparing Your Child for Independent Life After High School | SKILL #3: Teach Your Child Basic Food Prep

INDEPENDENT LIVING SKILLS
 
With graduation season just a few months away, we are reminded of the importance of transition to independent adult life. I realize those can be scary words—at least to us parents and caregivers. Nonetheless, we need to give our kids the skills necessary so they can succeed.
 
Here we continue our focus on transitions with this third installment of ways to prepare your child for life after high school. Sure, I know as well as you do, that many times it’s quicker and less messy if we just ‘do it for them.’ But a young, independent adult should know how to prepare or cook two or three breakfast, lunch and dinner items for him/herself.
 
SKILL #3:   Teach your child basic food preparation.
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For example:
  • Wash hands first!
  • Use knives and kitchen appliances safely
  • Use a stove, microwave and oven safely
    • Don’t put metal items in microwave.
    • Know how to preheat oven, use potholders and timer and turn off the oven when done. 
    • Be careful with gas/electric stove tops. 
  • Follow proper food handling procedures
    • Refrigerate foods needing refrigeration.
    • Wash fruits and veggies prior to eating.
    • Be aware of expiration dates and toss expired items.
  • Clean up
    • Store food in covered containers, throw out any trash and always wipe down the work surface. 
    • Scrape and rinse the dishes/utensils and either wash them or put them in the dishwasher.
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Start with meals that don’t require cooking. A breakfast with fruit, cereal with milk, yogurt and juice, for example. When those skills are mastered, move on to cooking one breakfast meal. Then cooking one meal for lunch. Then dinner. Repeat the process to become proficient with several different items for each meal. Bon appétit! 
 
As the mother of a son with autism, I’ve committed myself over the years to learning, understanding and sharing the most effective ways to nurture, protect and prepare a child with autism. Strategies with the potential to reap great rewards for our kids. Strategies for transitions and more, which I’ll
gladly share with you. 
 
Contact me at 714-501-8735 or debora@autismresourcemom.com
 
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