Cooking therapy is such a rewarding activity for our residents. Besides the fact that it is fun and delicious, it provides therapeutic benefits in many ways.
Yes, it is fun. There is plenty of room for error in assembling tacos or decorating cupcakes. A few harmless blobs on the table, or fingers full of icing is only good clean fun.
Among the benefits, our cooking class provides residents a sense of accomplishment. Residents are given pre-measured ingredients which they combine and mix in their own bowls. Our staff heats their bowls of ingredients, then returns them to their makers so they can eat their creations, giving them a sense of pride and accomplishment.
The physical act of mixing and assembling the ingredients can test a residents coordination, balance, and dexterity while under the guise of “cooking”. It challenges their fine motor skills to transfer food from one container to another.
It is a good cognitive exercise. There is a level of attention and focus necessary to perform this task. Though the ingredients are provided to them, there are still simple directions and a process they need to complete to reach their goal.
Our cooking class also encourages a sense of community. This activity is done at group tables in the main dining room and promotes social skills and interaction with other residents.
Menu items for our cooking classes include foods that are fun and relatively easy to make. Sample dishes include quesadillas, tacos, and burritos. Other activities include simply decorating sweets such as cookies, cupcakes, and Rice Krispy treats.
Holidays provide a special opportunity for cooking therapy. It allows residents to share their baked goods with visiting family members. It is a great way for them to take pride in their accomplishment and feel a renewed sense of giving.
For many, the sights and smells of various ingredients reminds them of years past when cooking was a daily activity shared with family – providing meaning, purpose, and belonging.
Check our monthly calendar to find the next cooking class and share in the fun. See how cooking therapy can brighten a loved one’s day.