Empowering SEND students to create healthy recipes

At the heart of the Apple of my Eye team’s approach is the belief that cooking is a life skill that everyone should have the opportunity to learn. By teaching children and young people with special educational needs how to cook, they are not only providing them with a valuable life skill, but also helping to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

The Apple of my Eye team’s practical cooking classes from Year 1 to Year 13 at Merefield Special School are designed to be fun, interactive, and accessible to all. The team uses a variety of techniques and tools to make cooking easy and enjoyable for students, including visual aids, step-by-step instructions, and adaptive equipment.

Healthy eating is a key focus in Apple of my Eye’s cooking classes. Students are taught how to prepare a wide variety of healthy and nutritious meals, using fresh and wholesome ingredients. The education service also emphasises the importance of portion control and balance, helping students to understand how to make healthy food choices that will fuel their bodies and minds.

Another important aspect of the cooking classes is building confidence and a sense of independence in students. At Merefield, Apple of my Eye has worked together to provide work experience for a selection of the Year 12 Students. 

Lucas, a Year 12 student, has worked every Tuesday morning alongside Glenys Dixon, food and nutrition teacher, and Gail Stanton, lead food technician, to provide technical support and peer mentoring for the younger students and classes in the school. Glenys and Gail would like to highlight that Lucas has been a complete pleasure to work with and has developed so much confidence and skills from week to week. Lucas will hopefully now progress on to an outside placement for work experience as a food preparation assistant.

By teaching special needs students how to cook, the Apple of my Eye team are helping young people to develop important life skills that will serve them well in the future. They also provide a supportive and encouraging environment, helping students to feel confident and empowered in the kitchen.

Overall, Apple of my Eye is doing important work in teaching children and young people with special educational needs how to cook healthy and delicious meals. Through innovative and engaging cooking classes, they are helping to improve the health and wellbeing of our students, while also providing them with valuable life skills that will serve them well into adulthood.

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