If you can’t eat, you can’t live.

That’s why instructors in Washington State University’s ROAR program had their students put together a cookbook of their favorite recipes.

In addition to providing a well-rounded education, The ROAR program at WSU helps students with intellectual and developmental disabilities learn skills such as cooking that promote independent living.

ROAR students were able to learn about the food groups, shopping for specific items to complete a recipe, budgeting, transportation to the grocery store, as well as following step by step directions while developing the cookbook.

Katie Hirschfelder, the director of ROAR, and Mykala Anglin, the ROAR recruitment coordinator, were crucial in the cookbook coming to life.

“It is important for all students to learn independent living skills, so that when they graduate, they are able to live successfully on their own,” Hirschfelder said.

There were a wide range of recipes that students added to the cookbook.

One recipe that ROAR student Lily Holston contributed was toffee French toast with pecans.

“I chose this recipe to put in the cookbook because it was a family recipe, and it was a good one, so I made it,” she said.

Not only did Holston submit a recipe, but she was also thrilled to try a pancake recipe from one of her cohorts.

“You can find so many recipes and try new thing that you have not tried yet,” she said. “I really like cooking because it’s a lot of fun.”

In addition to creating recipes, developing the design of the cookbook and putting it together was an important task.

Anglin designed the cookbook to be a WSU-themed winter wonderland with a backdrop of crimson, gray and snowflakes for the appetizer, entrée and dessert recipes included in the book.

“For the ROAR students, it was really about exploring new recipes,” Hirschfelder said. “Being able to learn new recipes and hear other people’s recipes are one of the ways we can expand on that independent living portion of our program.”

ROAR is a two-year inclusive postsecondary education program. The program provides individualized programs of study in education, social skills, and vocational training through person-centered planning. WSU ROAR students live communally on the Pullman campus, attend individualized programming, and complete WSU audit courses with same-aged peers. Most importantly, the WSU ROAR program welcomes young adults with I/DD to be part of the Cougar family experience.