Fun and Simple Meal Preparation

A fantastic way to encourage your child to become involved with simple meal preparation is to make it a creative experience. Play with your food! This activity is great for using imagination, a wonderful way to increase communication, and a great self-help skill builder. Involve your child with all the steps, from selecting the meal to cleaning up the dishes. It is never too early to learn to create their own simple meals in a fun and safe way.

1. Gather the fixings for a sandwich, whether it be peanut butter (sun butter, almond butter, nutella), meat and cheese, veggies, fruit, candy toppings, condiments, whatever it may be that will appeal to your child. We used bread, peanut butter, craisins, and chocolate chips for our fun creations. Since it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow we used heart cookie cutters to create our shapes.

2. Use your cookie cutter to cut out your shape from your slice of bread. If you are grain free you can use the cutters to cut your lunch meat or veggie slices too. Be creative!

3. Spread on your condiment of choice.

4. Arrange your toppings to create animals, fun shapes, designs, boarders, etc.

5. Now you are ready to eat your tasty treat. Austin made his into a mouse by adding pretzels for whiskers. So fun!!

*Depending on the age of your child parent supervision may be required. If you have a child who is able to safely prepare their meal independently, have them make something for siblings, family, and themselves. They will be so proud to show off their creation.

Blog by: Laney London, COTA/L, IMC

For further information contact us at 941-360-0200 or visit us at 

What is Occupational Therapy?

- Occupational therapy helps children, who may be challenged by various conditions to participate in their “occupations”.  It assists with establishing and maintaining health, wellness, and maximizing quality of life through child and family-centered practices.  Pediatric occupational therapy promotes function and remediates disability, provides support and education to families, and integrates well with additional health care providers.


What does Occupational Therapy work on?

- Occupational therapy works on a variety of skills specific to each child we treat.

-  Fine motor, gross motor, visual motor/perceptual skills, handwriting, school reading and readiness; self-care skills, oral-motor skills, sensory integration, receptive language, expressive language, auditory processing skills, activities of daily living (ADL’s), and self-regulation/sensory modulation.
This list is not all-inclusive, but hopefully you have the idea!

What is my child’s occupation?

-Grow, explore, learn, and play! Play is the most important childhood occupation. Through play a child develops physical coordination, emotional maturity (including emotional adjustment, stability and self-regulation), social skills to interact with peers, and self-esteem to explore new experiences and environments.

-Become independent with ADL’s i.e. dressing, feeding, bathing etc.

-Participate in school and extra-curricular activities

What is sensory integration?

-Sensory integration refers to the process of the nervous system receiving messages from within the body and from the external environment and turns into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. For most of us, this sensory integration process occurs at an unconscious level. For others, this process happens inefficiently causing them to have great difficulty figuring out what is going on inside and outside their bodies.

-Sensory Dysfunction may present as defensiveness to the environment or stimuli i.e. gagging, light sensitivity, tags in clothing are bothersome, covers ears when loud sounds are present, does not accept hugs even when they like someone, irrational fear of heights, etc. Some additional signs of a child being unable to regulate/modulate themselves can be: inability to calm self after exercise or emotional situation, jumping or spinning excessively, flapping of hands when excited, over or under responsive to stimuli, displays excessive emotional or behavioral outbursts, etc.

Who should seek Occupational Therapy services?

-Children with or without a specific diagnosis.

-Exceptionalities we work with include, but are not limited to Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, genetic disorders, Cerebral Palsy, learning disabilities, developmental delay, and sensory integration disorders.

What ages qualify for services at your facility?

-0 – 18 years old.

  For more information please call 941-360-0200 or visit