Dyspraxic Lunch Time Snacks: Tasty Toasty’s

Dyspraxic lunch time snacks can be quick and easy to make. At different times everyday adults living with dyspraxia the world over sit and ponder the same thought. What shall I have for lunch? I have on more than one occasion gone without eating lunch because I either can’t muster the motivation to cook or I simply can’t decide what to pop in the pan.

Dyspraxic Lunch Time Snacks

This one is a tasty, tasty toasty and you can have it ready in very little time. And best of all, it takes very little effort to make. Dyspraxic’s can be over or under sensitive to taste and texture and I am no different. That’s why I love making this tasty dyspraxic lunch time snack. It is so refreshing, the ham and cheese give it the savoury edge and the pineapple explodes with a fruity juiciness that gives you the refreshing lift you need with a dyspraxic lunch time snack. And the best thing about

And the best thing about pineapple is, that it has many health benefits, including a healthy dose of potassium. As a child living with a dyspraxia, I was told dyspraxic’s have a potassium deficiency. Which makes pineapples a winner in my books.

How to do it

Dyspraxic lunch time snacks can be really quick and easy to make. Just take two slices of bread lightly toast them, then place a pineapple ring or chunks on each piece and then place enough cheese on the bread to cover it. Place them under a grill or pop them on a frying pan on a low heat and let it melt the cheese until you are happy.

What you will need

  • Two slices of bread
  • Ham or topping of your choice

    Ingredients for tosti | the dyspraxic chef | Dyspraxic Lunch Time snacks

    Dyspraxic lunch time snacks

  • Two or three slices of cheese
  • Tinned pineapple slices (you can use fresh but for dyspraxic’s you might be there a while)

Oven gloves are your friend

Remember if you are using the grill, oven gloves are your friend and treat them as such to avoid any nasty burns.

Once the cheese has melted enough for your preference, grab the oven gloves and carefully pull the grill and place them on a plate.

Then tuck in.

Ham, cheese and pineapple tosti | the dyspraxic chef

Yours and Hungry,

the dyspraxic chef

 

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5 Top tips to get children with dyspraxia in the kitchen

For parents of children with dyspraxia deciding what to cook for them can be a challenge. And getting them to do the cooking, an even bigger one. Due to poor fine motor skills, children with dyspraxia might struggle in the kitchen. However, with practice, like most things, children with dyspraxia can getter better in the kitchen.

Here are the dyspraxic’s chefs top tips to get dyspraxic kid’s into the kitchen.

1.Get children with dyspraxia involved right from the off!

Let your dyspraxic child pick what they want to cook. Encourage them to start simple to build confidence and before long, they might be presenting you with a three-course menu. It might be easier for you to pick the menu at first. If your dyspraxic chef gets too excited you might end up with them picking something tricky. At first, try to keep it simple but exciting for your dyspraxic chef. Making a pizza is a fun and simple dish if you use a supermarket base.

2. Make a ‘special’ trip to the supermarket for children with dyspraxia

A trip to the supermarket can be a real challenge for adults and children living with dyspraxia.

If practical, make a list with only the ingredients for what you are trying to get your dyspraxic child to cook. Then make a special trip to the supermarket to get what you need from the list. This will take away the stress and boredom aspect normally associated with shopping by dyspraxics.

The Simpsons season 2 bart simpson lisa simpson episode 20 | Children with dyspraxia

As you shop, explain to them how you will cook the ingredients together and why you have chosen them. If they know why something is being bought, they are more likely to stay engaged.

3. Prepare the kitchen

Make a dedicated space for your dyspraxic chef. If the counter they use is clear and clean, they will engage when having to do the basic preparation. They might be some peeling and chopping to be done so make sure there is a clear space for that to be done in. Your dyspraxic chef will have to take their time with the preparation but it is good practice for the fine motor skills.

Children with dyspraxia might struggle with fine motor skills | the dyspraxic chef

4.Make it rewarding

If you dyspraxic chef in waiting is not excited by the prospect of cooking, offer a reward in exchange for some kitchen time. Before long cooking or baking will become the reward itself.

5.Encourage your children with dyspraxia

Use positive language throughout the cooking process. The slightest bit of negativity could have your dyspraxic chef back on the sofa demanding a frozen pizza. It can be frustrating for those around dyspraxics in the kitchen so please try to be patient with your dyspraxic chef and not take over the dish. Even if things are moving along slowly.

If you have managed to follow all these tips and you have your dyspraxic child in the kitchen then you have scored top points.

*And bonus points if you can get them to do the washing up afterwards.

The Simpsons bart simpson episode 17 season 20 kitchen

Yours and Hungry,

The dyspraxic chef

 

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Dyspraxic Jacket Spud with cheese and beans

Dyspraxic Jacket Spud

Dyspraxic cooking presents the dyspraxic chef with two big problems and they are 1. finding the motivation to cook (hunger is not enough) 2. finding practical things to cook. (My imagination can run wild.)

The motivation for this one was home sickness more than anything. Although living away from home, you miss friends and family but I think its the food I pine for the most.

On the menu | Dyspraxic cooking

Living with dyspraxia can make it difficult when it comes to dyspraxic cooking, so my advice is, where possible keep it simple. And this Lancashire staple does just that. Jacket potatoes with cheese and beans is a quick and simple way for an adult living with dyspraxia to cook a lovely warm meal on a cold winters afternoon.

What will you need

  • Beans in tomato sauce
  • Potatoes
  • Cheese
  • Salt and pepper

How to do it

When it comes to dyspraxic cooking, nothing is simple. The creation of this one is straightforward enough, it is just a case of boiling things. It is the quantity that I get wrong with the simple ones.  I was serving myself and the frog. I cooked enough spuds but not enough beans for two.

One pan is needed for the spuds. Wash the spuds to make sure they are clean, you will leave the skin on them for this one (No need for that pesky peeling). Fill your pan with water and spuds, put it on a low heat and leave to boil. In a second pan place a tin of beans but wait before cooking as they will only take a few minutes.

When you can cut through the spud like you can cut through butter with a warm knife then you know it is time to warm up those beans.

What’s on that plate?

Tasty, tasty food, that’s what. A fairly quick and simple dish that should stave off the snacking until tea time. There was no stress with this dyspraxic cooking, just food. Dyspraxic Jacket Spud | the dyspraxic chef | dyspraxic cooking

Yours and Hungry,

The dyspraxic chef 

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Dyspraxic Thai Curry | dyspraxic cooking

Mixing ingredients | dyspraxic cooking | the dyspraxic chef

On the menu, is the dyspraxic chef’s attempt at a green Thai curry. I say attempt because it is dyspraxic cooking and I did not stick to a traditional recipe and was simply using what was on the shelf.  What did I use I hear you yell at your screen?

The dyspraxic chef’s recipe for green Thai curry

There are many ways in which you can make Thai curry, so please don’t ring the Thai curry police, because I am just making my tea. And after all it is the world of dyspraxic cooking.

What to do: Peel your respective veg and slice your peppers and then get your chickpeas cooking. Boil a pan of water before cooking your veg for 5 minutes. This is where it might get tricky for an adult with dyspraxia, put a frying pan with a little oil and chopped garlic to heat before added the green curry paste and coconut milk. Let that bubble a bit before adding the veg and then let it fry for 5 -10 minutes on a low heat. It might need a bit long but just check that as you go.

Boil the rice noodles and then add those to the pan. mix it all together and let it sit for a minute or two.

The dyspraxic chef Thai curry ingredients: 

  • green curry paste
  • Chickpeas
  • A red and a green pepper
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Rice noodles
  • coconut milk
  • a small piece of garlic

Dyspraxic cooking result: 

I’ve made this one before and I should have taken pictures then, haha. As an adult living with dyspraxia, as long as I enjoy cooking and people think it is tasty, then I can sacrifice presentation. It was spicier that expected, my coconut milk to curry paste ratio may have been a bit off, but overall, I was happy with this effort.

Challenges for the dyspraxic chef

For adults living with dyspraxia the hardest bit about cooking can be the timing. There are other practical issues due to fine motor skills but keeping an eye on the time is hard work. It is also a crucial part of cooking. There are other practical issues due to fine motor skills but keeping an eye on the time is hard work. It is also a crucial part of cooking. The peeling is getting easier with practice but I still find it highly stressful to manage all the things at once. I pulled it off this time, just about but it was a fairly simple dish to make. Just a bit of boiling and frying essentially, just had to get the timings right.

I still need to work on presentation, though.

Your’s and hungry,

the dyspraxic chef.

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5 signs of a dyspraxic food shopper

5 signs of a dyspraxic food shopper | the dyspraxic chef

To be a dyspraxic chef you have to be a dyspraxic food shopper. Now, let it be known to Man, Woman and Beast that I like cooking, but I do not like to shop.  Each time I set off to the supermarket I forget the anxiety that food shopping brings. The stress of all the sensory information in a supermarket is enough to cause an adult living with dyspraxia’s blood pressure to rise.

So, the next time you’re in the supermarket look for these five signs of a dyspraxic shopper.

1.       The dyspraxic food shopper looking for a list:

You don’t have to be an adult living with dyspraxia to be guilty of this one. But it helps. As an adult living with dyspraxia, I find making a list helps to calm myself and organise the task ahead. More often than not a dyspraxic shopper will spend more than a few minutes looking for their shopping list, before realising it has been left on the kitchen counter. Considering the technology we all tend to have available, writing a paper list and then losing it, seems rather counterproductive.  Once the shopping list has been lost so has all logic of the supermarket. The dyspraxic shopper without a list is prone to indecision on a level unknown to ordinary shoppers.

2.      The dyspraxic food shopper wearing headphones

Again this is not an exclusive club for adults and children with dyspraxia or other neuro diverse conditions.  But from personal experience and reflection, I have found that I am a lot less stressed by the whole process than I am without music blaring through the tiny head speakers.  If I shop with a frog on the run then I tend not to have headphones, I then quickly become irritated and before long I am wondering the shop without a clue as to why I am there.

3.     The dyspraxic food shopper is  looking for what is in front of them:

The dyspraxic food shopper | the dyspraxic chef

The dyspraxic food shopper is still looking.

Did you hear about the one with the dyspraxic and the last item of their shopping list?

No?

They are still looking for it.

Cue the applause: Clap Clap

On a serious note, though, sometimes living with dyspraxia can feel like not seeing what is right in front of you. And when an adult living with dyspraxia is in the supermarket,  that can become quite literal. I have found myself on many occasions searching for one ingredient determined to find it, but too stubborn to ask, only to find it where I have been stood for 25 minutes or to finally ask and to be told it is out of stock.

4.    The dyspraxic food shopper has a basket full, with more than is possible to carry:

Often, probably due to a sensory overload I find myself with a basket full and only two hands to carry it with.  After a stressed out shop, if you follow an adult with dyspraxia (in a non-creepy way) you will see them struggle all the way home. People with dyspraxia tend to have weak muscle tone, making carrying a large amount of shopping any kind of distance tricky.

5.       The dyspraxic food shopper will be making awkward small talk after immense fidgeting:

 Look at the queue the next time you are in the supermarket and you might just see a dyspraxic shopper fidgeting in anticipation of the end of a shopping nightmare. I don’t think I can contribute my immense fidgeting to dyspraxia alone. An Occupational therapist suggested that I was also ADHD.  After the fidgeting, awkward small talk may arise while indecision on whether to make eye contact with the cashier ravages the dyspraxic brain.

A child 'acting up' may have a neuro diverse condition | the dyspraxic chef

A child ‘acting up’ may have a neuro diverse condition

In a supermarket, you come across all walks of life, people from very different environments, with very different needs. Shopping can be a stressful experience for adults and children living with dyspraxia.  The same can be said for many neuro diverse people, as they get older they will develop coping mechanisms but spare a thought for children who are yet to develop them. The next time you see a child ‘acting up’ or an adult behaving like an ‘ass’, there may be more to it than meets the eye.

For information about dyspraxia visit the dyspraxia foundation.

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