ISP: Cooking Skills & Confidence In The Kitchen

Following are a series of suggestions that providers can use to develop an ISP around building cooking skills and confidence. Understanding that instruction will vary between individuals and provider organizations, our tips are a general guide from which to make your own unique adaptations.

Timing

The tasks noted below should be broken up over time into multiple sessions, with consistent review and repetition for reinforcement.

Goal

The individual will demonstrate increased confidence and skills related to meal preparation in the kitchen.

Prerequisite

We suggest that understanding kitchen and food safety basics is a prerequisite to this goal. Please see ISP: Kitchen & Food Safety Basics.

Fundamentals

• Throughout the years, we’ve witnessed that “when you make it, you own it” fuels eat-better habit change. Meaning: Individuals involved in healthy menu planning and meal prep are much more likely to eat nutritiously.

• Even basic involvement in menu planning (such as helping to make decisions about how to flavor vegetables so they taste good) and meal prep (such as peeling vegetables) leads to healthier mealtime habits for the individual.

• An individual’s confidence and skills build through:

1. Mastery of foundational cooking basics

2. A realistic and thoughtful progression of challenges set before them

3. Time spent in the kitchen

4. Persistent, positive reinforcement

5. An ability to pursue personal passions

(such as a love of Mexican food, a desire to produce meals for date nights, contributing to the holiday potluck party, hosting a cookie exchange, planning and helping to execute household celebrations such as for: Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Kentucky Derby, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Oktoberfest, etc).

• An opportunity for the individual to showcase their expanding skill level is a positive, meaningful motivator. Opportunities to showcase might include: holiday potlucks, chef of the day recognition in the household, backyard BBQs, neighborhood/family gatherings, cooking contests, etc.

Suggested Props To Accomplish The Goal

• Selected PhotoStep recipes and supplies as specified in each PhotoStep

My25’s Bump-Up-Veggie-Flavor Chart and a variety of cooked vegetables and flavoring ingredients noted on the chart

• Selected recipes from My25 Lite’s Recipe Box and noted supplies in these recipes.

Suggested Tasks To Accomplish The Goal

• Ask the individual about their cooking goals and what they enjoy eating and preparing in the kitchen. Take note of any allergies and medical needs that should be addressed.

• Understand the individual’s knowledge level and mastery of kitchen and food safety basics (which should have already been covered through the ISP for this topic), so these can be capitalized upon during instruction.

• Watch some (or all!) of My25’s VideoStep recipes.

• Review the full list of PhotoStep recipes and make selections for instruction by mapping out a progression, taking into account the individual’s baseline skill level and interests. The idea is to gradually go from the basic to the more complex. The same list of PhotoStep Recipes, in a different list format, can be viewed here (scroll down on the page to where it says, “PhotoStep Recipes”).

One example of a progression for instruction:

How To Simmer & Boil Water

How To Crack Open An Egg

How To Peel An Orange

How To Cut Up Celery

How To Make Fresh or Frozen Carrots (Microwave or Stove Top)

How To Make Fresh or Frozen Corn on The Cob (Microwave or Stove Top)

How To Make Toast

How To Make A Tossed Salad

How To Make Scrambled Eggs

How To Make Coffee

How To Make Hot Tea

How To Brown Ground Beef

How To Brown Chicken

How To Make A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

How To Make A Black Bean Quesadilla

How To Make Burgers On The Stove Top

How To Make Herb Tilapia

Demonstrate completion of each task, one by one, noted in a selected PhotoStep. After each step, ask the individual to demonstrate the exact same step until the recipe is completed. Repeat with additional PhotoSteps. Start with PhotoSteps that have fewer tasks and gradually introduce PhotoSteps that include more tasks.

Demonstrate completion of a full PhotoStep in its entirety. Ask the individual to demonstrate completion of a full PhotoStep from start to finish. Repeat with additional PhotoSteps. Start with PhotoSteps that have fewer tasks and gradually introduce PhotoSteps that include more tasks.

• Center instruction around My25’s Bump-Up-Veggie-Flavor Chart. Talk about flavoring vegetables, so they are more appealing to eat. Explain that it’s healthy to aim for eating ½ of a plate full of vegetables at mealtime. Explain that My25’s Chef created the Bump-Up-Veggie-Flavor Chart to help get the creative juices flowing as far as flavoring vegetables.

Point out that it is a good idea to think about flavors the whole household might enjoy when choosing sauces, dressing, juices, herbs and spices to add to veggies.

Ask the individual to choose, one at a time, from a variety of flavors and vegetables displayed for instruction purposes. Demonstrate how to add a bit of the flavoring ingredient, taste, and add more of the flavoring ingredient bit by bit until the desired taste is achieved. Ask the individual to demonstrate the same process to achieve desired flavor.

Ask the individual if there are any additional flavoring ingredients he or she can suggest adding to vegetables to make them taste good. If so, try them out!

• Once the individual is demonstrating proficiency with more complex PhotoSteps (increased preparation steps and skill complexitiy), advance instruction to the kinds of recipes found in cookbooks and online. Review My25 Lite Portal recipes and choose appropriate recipes based on the individual’s skill level and interest. Use My25 Lite Portal recipes for instruction purposes.

Some examples:

Garlic Toasted Tortilla Chips

Cucumber Romaine Salad

Fruit Salad

Margarita Salad Dressing

Ellen’s Hummus & Artichoke Dip

Fiberpalooza Snack Mix

Kale Apple Smoothie

The Other Mashed Potato

Fish Tacos

Sloppy Joes

Rice & Broccoli Bake

Demonstrate completion of each task, one by one, noted in a selected My25 Lite Portal recipe. After each step, ask the individual to demonstrate the exact same step until the recipe is completed. Repeat with additional My25 Lite Portal recipes. Start with My25 Lite Portal recipes that have fewer tasks and gradually introduce My25 Lite Portal recipes that include more tasks.

Demonstrate completion of a full My25 Lite Portal recipe in its entirety. Ask the individual to demonstrate completion of a full My25 Lite Portal recipe from start to finish. Repeat with additional My25 Lite Portal recipes. Start with My25 Lite Portal recipes that have fewer tasks and gradually introduce My25 Lite Portal recipes that include more tasks.

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