What’s Cooking with YOUR Kids: ADHD and Blueberries

boy with blueberriesAn afternoon with my son… warm, sweet, and tangy
by Penny Williams

Luke, my special needs son, and I had Saturday afternoon to ourselves — just Mommy and Buddy. Daddy was working in his shop. Emma was on a spontaneous trip to the movies with a friend.

I could sit on the computer all day and night between my blog, my real estate business, reading everyone else’s great blogs on ADHD and parenting and family, researching ADHD, writing on my manuscript (I’d like to think it will become a book some day), on and on I could go… There aren’t nearly enough hours in the day for all I want to accomplish.

But I was determined that I was going to spend this time alone with Luke. I asked him if he’d like to help me bake something with the blueberries I bought. Ding, ding, ding! The first idea was a winner.

We sat on FoodNetwork.com together and browsed through all the blueberry recipes. Luke picked blueberry pie. However, I had to nix that. I think Daddy is the only one who’d eat that much blueberry at one time and I didn’t have any store-bought pie dough, the only way I bake pie.

I suggested a blueberry coffee cake. It’s cake, so it should be a winner in our house. Plus, he is enamored with the idea of coffee (Daddy and I drink a lot of it) so he liked the idea of making coffee cake. Even after I explained that coffee cake doesn’t contain any coffee.

So we set out to make this great “Loads-of-Blueberries Coffee Cake.”

I know that getting your children cooking is educational. I have been told time and time again that having your picky children help to prepare a meal will lessen their objections to what you serve them. That doesn’t fly for my tween daughter, Emma. In fact, it is worse for her. When she sees everything that goes in the pan, she has even more to complain about. So they don’t cook with me that much.

Boy was I missing out. And they are missing out too. Luke and I had a blast. He helped from rinsing the blueberries to checking the final product with a toothpick for doneness. He was engaged through the entire process. Partly because his sister wasn’t there to fight over who is going to do each and every task. But also because he felt accomplished and he was looking forward to eating his blueberry creation in the end. It didn’t hurt that I kept saying “thanks for letting ME help YOU bake this” either.

boy measuring

So we were off and running. Luke read the recipe, reinforcing that he CAN read (he tells me all the time that he can’t read still). Luke measured the ingredients (he loves math). Luke stirred the bowl, sprinkled the cinnamon sugar on top, watched it baking in the oven, the works. He stayed with it the entire process just proving that, when your child is engaged in a hands-on activity, even an ADHD child, they can pay attention and follow through.

It was good – warm, sweet, tangy and so delicious. Just like an afternoon with my son!

Penny Williams is the creator and editor of {a mom’s view of ADHD}. She is also a freelance writer, real estate broker, wife, and mother of two living in Asheville, N.C. She has published several pieces in ADDitude Magazine, the #1 national publication dedicated to ADHD, and has also been quoted in Parenting.com’s Family Health Guide on ADHD and The High Desert Pulse article, When Ritalin Works. When not writing, she can usually be found behind a camera.

We’d love to hear from you about your experiences in the kitchen with your child.  Please email me (michelle at whatscookingwithkids dot com) your brief story, along with a few photos.  I’ll be posting your stories in the order they are received.  Thank you for being a valuable part of our community!

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3 Responses to What’s Cooking with YOUR Kids: ADHD and Blueberries

  1. Karinvd says:

    Cooking and baking with children is so much fun. I love his expression, so focussed and relaxed at the same time. I am sure that cake turned out to be delicious!

  2. I think baking and cooking together is a great way to spend time with kids… Sounds like it was a great experience for both of you! 🙂

  3. Vicki Caramante says:

    Thanks so much for publishing this. My almost 10yo daughter (w/ADD)LOVES cooking. It is truly one of the few times she can concentrate for a length of time. Wating for the end product can sometimes be a little frustrating for her, but it teaches her patience. Thanks for sharing.

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