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Culinary Therapy What Is It?

For some, cooking is a daily chore, a social experience or an entertaining leisure activity. For others, cooking is therapeutic. Culinary therapy encompasses cooking and cooking-related activities, such as cultivating a garden, planning and preparing meals, and educational grocery shopping and restaurant experiences. Under the supervision of a professional chef and/or therapist, patients learn about diet and nutrition and develop a healthy relationship with food.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CULINARY THERAPY?

Cooking is a basic skill for daily living, yet many people don’t feel comfortable around food or in the kitchen. In addition to learning a valuable life skill, culinary therapy offers the following benefits:

  • Stress relief
  • Improved social skills
  • Balance and coordination
  • Sensory awareness
  • Improved physical health
  • Enhanced ability to plan and organize
  • Time management skills
  • Relief from boredom
  • Improved memory, attention and focus
  • Self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment

WHAT CONDITIONS/DISORDERS DOES CULINARY THERAPY TREAT?

Although cooking may seem like a common day-to-day activity, it can be therapeutic for a diverse group of people. Culinary therapy can be part of treatment for:

  • Eating Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities and ADHD
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Anxiety