Can you use food in teletherapy? Yes! Incorporating food into speech therapy is such a practical way to improve speech and language skills. Students get a chance to interact with food by eating, cooking, baking, and exploring. How can you do that now when a large chunk of therapy is happening behind screens. For more benefits of using food in therapy, go here. Here are a few ways you can still use food during teletherapy.
Still Use Actual Food
Using actual food is more challenging and requires more planning. You need to know the family’s food security. Can they afford to use food in therapy that might not be eaten? How easy is it for the family to get the food you want to use in treatment? These are not easy conversations to have, but it’s crucial to have. If families are not food secure, is there funding or other means to provide food? Another consideration is, are there food allergies in the family?
If you are using food, then it has been beneficial for you, and the child to both have the food/ingredients, especially if you are cooking or baking. I have found that if you both have the same materials, then it makes therapy more engaging for both of you. I have done it when I walk the child through cooking, but I preferred it when I was cooking alongside. I also think that therapy was more successful.
What if I can’t use real food?
If using real food is not an option, then you can still use food themes. If I’m using food to increase exposure to different foods, I will use materials that contain real pictures as much as possible. Using books like “How are you Peeling?” can be fun. Other fun books include, “Mind Your Manners BB Wolf,” and “Sheep out to Eat.”
You can use teletherapy activities. I have made Do You Like It? Boom Cards. It allows you to talk about food preferences and work on a variety of social language skills. “Do You Like It?” has been popular with students.
You can watch videos on YouTube. Sarah Wu has a series of wordless videos where she makes simple, common foods. Click here. You can use these to talk about the steps of the recipe, if you like the food she makes, build vocabulary, and talk about food safety.
You can also adapt materials that you already have. Set it up similar to how you would in person but make sure that the child can see it. Have the child tell you what to do with the materials, or if it is paper material, you can screen share the activity to do it. This can take more time to make it more interactive.
Using puppets and have the children tell you which food to eat has been a popular activity. You can adapt this activity to meet many speech and language goals.
It can be challenging, but you can use a food theme with teletherapy. What are your favourite food activities?