A lot of our posts about disability friendly activities suggest getting in the kitchen with the person receiving care. We often suggest boxed baking mixes because they’re easy when you’re looking for something fun to do. When you’re ready to jump into harder skills though, here are some cooking recipes for adults with learning disabilities that are easy to make, offer a variety of nutrients, and teach basic skills that can lead to independent living.
Tips For Cooking Recipes for Adults with Learning Disabilities:
When teaching someone with an intellectual disability how to cook it might be best to make a binder of some of their favorite easy recipes and take step-by-step pictures of what the process looks like to make the dish. That way even if they don’t have the ability to read a long recipe they can follow the pictures to help them out.
Veggie wraps are packed with nutrients and you can add some lunch meat to give it some protein too! Recipe for Veggie Wraps.
Breakfast burritos are a quick and easy breakfast idea. You can add veggies to up the nutrients and it can be eaten on the go right in your hands. Breakfast burrito recipe here.
It will be hard to make a breakfast burrito without scrambled eggs. This is a great beginner food to learn to make. Scramble egg recipe here.
Oatmeal is an easy way to start the morning. You can bump up the nutrients with nuts, seeds, fruits, and berries! Oatmeal recipe here.
Is there anything better than a grilled cheese sandwich? This is a super simple recipe but can sometimes be tricky to get perfectly. Here is a great recipe for grilled cheese.
Pancakes are a great recipe everyone should know how to make. You can certainly use a mix, but if you want to make them from scratch, try this recipe.
Rice is fairly easy to make, and there are a lot of easy store-bought ways to make it these days. You can purchase the microwavable cups or pouches, the boil-in-a-bag variety, or the quick cooking instant rice. If you want to make it on your own from regular long grain rice, try this guide.
Learning how to simply cook basic proteins such as chicken, pork, and steak will be a huge life skill that really isn’t too complicated. Most meat involves baking it in the oven long enough for it to cook to the right temperature. An oven thermometer can help greatly with this. Here is a good resource for cooking chicken.
Most veggies can roast with oil, salt, and pepper in the oven for 20-25 minutes. A great resource for roasting veggies can be found here.
Stir-fry is great because it’s a healthy one pot meal that doesn’t involve a lot of prep work if you use frozen veggies. Here is an easy recipe for stir-fry.
Shrimp is a quick and easy meat to cook that doesn’t involve a lot of prep work. If you want a quick and easy shrimp recipe, try this post here.
Pizza can be made by purchasing a frozen pizza at the store, getting a pre-made crust, or making the entire thing from scratch. Scale the recipe to the ability of the person you’re working with. If you want an easy homemade crust, try this recipe.
Smoothies can be super tasty and are very simple to make. For some great single serving smoothie recipes, check out this list here.
French toast is super simple to make and is a great breakfast option if you’re looking for some fun variety. This recipe can be topped with lots of different fruits, jams, nut butters, and spreads. For an easy french toast recipe, see this post here.
Chili is super easy to make and really just involves browning the meat and dumping a lot of cans into a pot on the stove. For an easy low-spice chili recipe, try this version here.
Baked potatoes are super easy to make and can be a very filling side dish. Try this quick and easy guide the next time you make baked potatoes.
Salads don’t have to be super time consuming. Find a few different variations that you like or simply make those salad kits that you can purchase at the store. Simply mix all the bags together and you have a quick and easy side!
Sandwiches are a great and fast lunch option. Again, find some variations that the person receiving care likes and practice making those again and again. Eventually they’ll be able to make it from memory without too much trouble.
Salmon is very easy to make and can be a super easy and healthy dinner. Simply pair it with some roasted veggies and rice and you have a super easy and great meal. See this post for how to cook salmon in the oven.
Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Chocolate chip cookies are a basic staple dessert recipe that everyone should know how to make. This easy chocolate chip cookie recipe could be a great one to start with.
Yogurt parfaits are a great healthy breakfast, lunch, or snack to make. You can top them with a lot of different fruits, nuts, seeds, etc… play around with some of your favorite toppings until you find one that works for you!