Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Cooking the AD/HD Way
I've been working with my kids to teach them the basics of food preparation and simple cooking skills. Their impulsivity makes the dialog entertaining (Mom: Beckie, the next thing to do is add one egg. Beckie: Crack it first?) Okay, I had to laugh at that, and eventually Beckie joined me. She knew, of course, that we don't use the eggs with the shells included. She just asks questions and makes comments without thinking sometimes. Scott decided to teach them how to make grilled cheese sandwiches, which is one of his favorites. Unfortunately, there is some waiting involved before you can flip the sandwich in the pan, and waiting is BORING especially when you have AD/HD. When I am cooking I spend the waiting time preparing additional ingredients I know I'll need or by cleaning up as I go. When my AD/HD family members have to wait, they leave the room to find something else to do. This risks them getting involved in something and not remembering that they were cooking until the smoke alarm goes off and they are faced with the dilemma of whether or not to take time to save their game before dealing with the burning food. (Hint: The AD/HD mind will say "The food's already burnt, but this game can still be saved!") Anyway, the strategy used for the grilled cheese was to set the stove timer. That way, they could leave the room but not lose track of time because the timer would beep to pull them back to the kitchen in time to flip the sandwich before it burned. Since they each wanted more than one sandwich, they got to practice this several times. I found it annoying to hear the timer going off every minute until they finished making a pile of grilled cheese sandwiches, but it was much less annoying than the burning smell and the smoke alarm would have been. I'm all about strategies, and this one seemed to work for them.