Special Needs Children Cook: Browning Meat and Onions

Image shows a child browning meat and onions in a frying pan.

Browned Meat and Onions


Since many recipes involve browning meat and onions, Special Needs Children Cook: Browning Meat & Onions is a visual instruction guide for that skill.  Whenever one of our recipes calls for browning meat and onions, you can refer to this article for the picture gallery to help your child learn.  Obviously, you can use meat substitute if you prefer.


Ingredients and Supplies:

  • Frying pan
  • Sturdy cooking spoon
  • Cooking spray
  • Ground meat or meat substitute (in the amount needed for your recipe)
  • Chopped onion or onions (as needed in your recipe)

As always with our teaching method, organize your supplies and ingredients on a tray before giving them to your child.

The supplies for browning meat are on a tray: raw hamburger, chopped onions, cooking spray and a metal cooking spoon.

Supplies for Teaching Browning Meat & Onions

Here are some tips to make the lesson go more smoothly.

  1. Go ahead and take the meat out of its container so that it can be easily dropped into the pan without needing to be touched by your child.  Many special needs children have a tendency to lick everything off their fingers immediately.  That is not a good idea with raw meat!
  2. The onion is easier to get into the pan if it is in a bowl instead of on a cutting board as well.  While it won’t hurt them if they lick onion juice off their fingers, they won’t like it and your cooking lesson may be over abruptly.
  3. When they are spraying the cooking spray into the pan, they will probably need both hands just to manage the spray can.  It helps if you tilt the pan up sideways for them so that they don’t have to spray at a downward angle.
  4. If they want to keep spraying long after they’ve done enough, you might want to have them count to 5 and then stop. Having a set cut-off point will help them realize when to stop.
  5. Always be in control of the temperature setting on the stove.  I turn the stove on and remove the knobs so my daughter won’t fight over the setting.

Child:  Tap on the pictures to go to the next picture and learn how to brown meat and onions.

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We hope you use this skill from Special Needs Children Cook often as you work with your child.  They can do it!




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