An article from A Shared Vision

Bored with bread? If your child likes a grilled cheese sandwich, try this easy recipe for quesadillas instead.


A grilled cheese sandwich has a mild, comforting flavor that’s pleasing to children and adults alike. A quesadilla is like a grilled cheese sandwich except it’s made with tortillas. Although you can fill a quesadilla with anything, start with just cheese for the mildest flavor.

Because the quesadilla is thin and can be easily cut into small shapes, it’s perfect for small hands to grasp. Show your child how to dip the slices into salsa, sour cream, or another favorite condiment to help them build tactile skills. Pack these quesadillas in a lunch box or as a snack when you’re on the go.

This recipe makes one medium-sized quesadilla. Ole!

Non-stick large skillet or griddleSpatula for turning over the quesadilla8-oz. measuring cupCutting boardPizza cutter wheel
2 medium flour tortillas, approximately 7 ½ inches in diameter1 cup shredded melting cheese, such as Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, cheddar, mozzarella, or Mexican cheese blend
Recipe Steps & Suggested Sensory Directions
Step 1.
Gather the ingredients and the utensils.
TOUCH. What do the utensils feel like? Are their textures rough, smooth, or shiny?LISTEN. When you tap the spatula on the skillet, does it make a sound?
Step 2.
Open the package of tortillas and take out two. Open the package of shredded cheese and pour the cheese into the measuring cup.

LISTEN. Count out loud each tortilla. “One… two.” How many are left in the package?SEE. Talk about the shape of the tortillas. They are round and flat. Are they bigger or smaller than your hand? What else is shaped like a circle in your home?LISTEN. Describe out loud how you’re pouring the shredded cheese into the cup. “Oops, some of the cheese fell OUT of the cup. Let’s put it back IN the cup.”
TASTE. Taste the shredded cheese. Put a few pieces in your child’s hand or on their tray. The mild flavor makes it a popular snack for little kiddos.Step 3.
Heat the skillet on medium-high heat on the stove.

TOUCH. The stove is hot! Cooking together is fun, especially when it’s done safely. Explain how the heat from the stove melts the cheese in the quesadilla and browns the tortillas to make them crispy.
Step 4.
Put one tortilla on the heated skillet. Sprinkle one cup of shredded cheese all over the tortilla. Then put the other tortilla on top of the cheese. Press down on the quesadilla with the spatula so the ingredients stick together.

LISTEN. Use narration as you describe how you’re putting the tortilla on the skillet, sprinkling the cheese all over the tortilla, and putting the second tortilla on top. It’s like a sandwich!TOUCH. If your child is interested in helping you, put some cheese in a small cup and show them how to sprinkle the cheese on the tortilla. (“Sprinkling” the cheese is different than “pouring” the cheese!) You can also encourage your child to place their hand over yours as you sprinkle the cheese or as you pat the tortilla with the spatula.SEE. The white color of the tortilla contrasts with the orange cheese and the dark skillet. Lift the edge of the quesadilla with the spatula and check to see if it’s turning brown.
Step 5.
Cook the quesadilla for 3 to 4 minutes until the bottom is lightly browned. Flip the quesadilla with the spatula and cook the other side.

SEE. Allow your child to watch as you cook the quesadilla in the skillet. Explain how you’re waiting for the cheese to melt and the tortilla to brown and get a little crispy.SMELL. Hmm, the quesadilla smells like melting cheese!LISTEN. Cooking involves many tools from the kitchen. A utensil such as a spatula might be your child’s favorite toy! Talk about the spatula’s qualities and what it’s used for. It is flat for scraping a bowl clean or flipping over a quesadilla, pancake, or burger.
Step 6.
Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board and let it cool for a few minutes. Turn the stove off. While you’re waiting, get your favorite dips ready.

SEE. Almost every recipe requires wait time. For children with visual impairments, wait time is about waiting for a child to make a move rather than relying on an adult for prompts and guidance. While you’re waiting for the quesadilla to cool, observe your child. Are they vocalizing or gesturing with their hands or feet? Are they showing any signs of hunger, like smacking their lips? Look for signs of fatigue, too. Being a chef is tiring!
Step 7.
With the pizza cutter, slice the quesadilla into your child’s favorite, easy-to-grasp shapes, such as triangles or squares.

TOUCH. Use the hand under hand strategy and ask your child to help you cut the quesadilla with a gentle, rolling motion.
SEE. What shapes are you making with your pizza cutter? Triangles or squares or long strips? You can also try using cookie cutters.Five Delicious DipsStep 8.
Serve the quesadilla plain or with Mexican dips such as mild salsa, guacamole, or sour cream, or even ketchup. HERE are some other fun ideas.
TOUCH. Dipping is one of our favorite sensory, tactile activities! They also support your child in learning independent feeding skills. Help your child use a quesadilla bite as a utensil to scoop the dip and bring it to their mouth.
LISTEN. Use action verbs to describe how you’re eating your quesadilla. Do you dunk your quesadilla into a dip? Do you spread the dip on top of the quesadilla with a spoon?
TASTE. Or maybe you like your quesadilla plain so you only taste the melted cheese.