Did you know that it is a standard practice in a Montessori classroom for a child to prepare food as part of their daily routine? They use real glasses and silverware, cloth napkins, and plates.
Food preparation activities allow a child to
- Feel a sense of belonging to their community
- Support the development of their coordinated movements
- Learn to care for themselves.
Kitchen play sets and pretend food can be fun, but they don't offer nearly the learning benefits that cooking with real food does. Giving a child the opportunity to understand and engage in the process of preparing a meal is so an important Montessori practice.
Cooking with real food allows a child to understand where food comes from. For instance, when a child squeezes oranges to make juice, they not only feel the different textures of the fruit, smell the orange, and see the juice come out, but they also get to reap the benefits of their hard work, as they enjoy a fresh glass of orange juice!
Related: 4 ways to encourage a toddler's eating habits
Sensorial education helps a child understand food and where it comes from. Additionally, these activities are opportunities for language development (names of the food, explanation about the different parts of the food, colors, smells, and the instruments we use to work with the food, etc.), and mathematics can also be incorporated.
10 Montessori Food Prep Activities for Toddlers
- Spreading cheese on crackers/English muffins/bagels
- Baking bread/muffins/scones
- Slicing fruit (apples, bananas, melon)
- Peeling & slicing hard-boiled eggs
- Squeezing citrus to make juice or flavored water
- Making guacamole
- Sorting fruit
- Slicing cheese
- Making mini-pizza
- Peeling & slicing carrots
Easy Banana Muffin Recipe
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 pre-mashed bananas
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Add the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir the batter. Transfer the batter to a small muffin tin.
Bake 350 to 15 to 20 minutes
About Bérénice: We were able to lure Bérénice away directly from her Montessori toddler classroom, where she was everyone's favorite teacher. Her kind, warm demeanor puts us all at ease. She uses her Doula experience, Masters in Education and Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) certification to help coach Monti Kids families when they need extra guidance, and to lead our parent/baby classes to support child development.
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