Every Thursday, occupational therapist Naama gathers a group of ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran outpatient rehabilitation patients for a fun and productive cooking session.
Assisted by two National Service volunteers, the outpatient group learns and practices kitchen techniques that will assist them in much more than food preparation. Peeling, cutting, chopping, cooking and frying, along with dishwashing and kitchen clean-up, require fine motor activities such as hand-eye coordination, attention to detail and more.
Says Naama, “Everyone cooks. Everyone has to eat and enjoys eating. Food is a central part of our lives – eating together, giving, having fun experiences. For patients at ADI’s outpatient rehabilitation center, the cooking class is a unique experience. Using both old and new kitchen tools, participants learn and practice different skills, rediscover abilities and discover new capabilities. In occupational therapy, we believe that we can become stronger by practicing regular, daily activity. The patient feels good, and that feeling empowers them to progress even further. Food nourishes the soul and the body.”
Ruchama, a cooking group participant, adds that, “this is occupational therapy. I feel that I am activating my entire body when working in the kitchen. It invigorates me.”