Do you struggle to come up with different meal ideas for the individuals you care for? It can become monotonous to prepare the same dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner over and over. The RISE Services, Inc. Oregon team would like to share four delicious and nutritious recipes you can make alongside the individuals you support who live with developmental and intellectual disabilities (I/DD).
Each recipe teaches valuable kitchen skills such as measuring and cutting, using utensils, and practicing food safety. There are optional substitutions listed to address various allergies and taste preferences. Plus, we’ve included suggestions on how to add more nutrition to each meal. Let’s look at these four easy and enjoyable recipes for individuals with I/DD to create with your help.
1. Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are a great source of protein. Once an individual with I/DD learns how to make them, they can experiment by adding meat and vegetables like diced ham, chopped onions, and diced bell peppers. Pair with toast and have a satisfying and nutritious breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon water or milk of choice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or butter
- Add the eggs and milk or water to a medium bowl. Whisk until combined.
- Add olive oil or butter to a nonstick skillet and bring to medium heat.
- Pour in the eggs and let them cook for about 10 seconds.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently mix the eggs while they cook. Draw an X or the letter S through them until large curds form.
- Slowly fold and stir the eggs until they are mostly set.
- Take them off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!
2. Old-Fashioned Oatmeal
Oatmeal is one of those stick-to-your-ribs meals that can be eaten any time of the day. Below is a basic recipe for cooking oatmeal, but feel free to add other ingredients like fruit, nuts, nut butter, or sweetener, based on their preferences.
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup water or milk
- Add water or milk to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Stir in the oats and turn the heat down to medium.
- Cook for about five minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Optional add-ins: Blueberries, strawberries, sliced bananas, walnuts, pecans, peanut butter, almond butter, maple syrup, or honey.
3. Baked Chicken
Baked chicken is a versatile ingredient that can be eaten alone, in a salad, or with a vegetable for dinner. This recipe serves four individuals. You can also eat one piece of chicken and save the others for lunch or dinner later in the week.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Add chicken breasts to a large baking dish in a single layer. Brush olive oil or melted butter on both sides of the chicken.
- Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the chicken on both sides.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165°F. Insert a kitchen thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken breast to measure the temperature.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and carefully transfer the chicken to a clean plate. Cover with foil and let them rest for five minutes before digging in.
4. Spinach Berry Smoothie
Smoothies are an excellent way to incorporate a variety of fruits and veggies into your diet. If your family member or the individual you’re working with doesn’t like some ingredients, they can choose something different, like avocado, pineapple, kale, or peaches. Make them even more nutritious by adding a scoop of protein powder or a tablespoon of their favorite nut butter.
- 1 banana
- Handful of spinach
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup berries of choice – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or combination
- ½ cup milk of choice
- Optional: sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup
- Gather all ingredients and add to a blender. Slice the banana before adding.
- Blend until smooth and the mixture is well combined.
- Add more liquid or fruit to create your preferred consistency.
Serving Adults & Children with Developmental Disabilities
We encourage you to contact us today if you would like to learn more about our employment, residential, in-home care, supported living, or foster home services at RISE Oregon. We look forward to transforming the lives of your loved ones with our person-centered growth opportunities.Source: Flamm, Paige. “21 Easy Cooking Recipes for Adults with Learning Disabilities.” Blog article. Giv.Care. Blog.Giv.Care, 18 Aug. 2022. Web. 10 Jul. 2023.