Mealtimes are easier with Montessori
The Montessori approach attempts to set the child for success early, and may be different from what we experienced as children! We do this by building healthy habits from the start. Mealtimes are an important, daily family occasion, where great attention is paid to creating a beautiful but functional setting, in allowing the child to participate in preparing the meal, and as often as possible sharing mealtimes with the family. Mealtimes are more enjoyable when the child is part of the process. Choose your special family daily mealtime together and protect it as much as possible; it could be breakfast or dinner. We begin to include our baby in the family meal so that they learn the social meaning of food for interaction and human company. The key starting place is always to establish consistent expectations, and supporting the child's independence.
An important part of the adult's role is to lay the foundations for the toddler's relationship with food, positive attitude toward food and for healthy eating habits. When parents and other caregivers find themselves feeding their toddler, chasing after them with food, bribing them to eat, or they need to be constantly distracted by something else to eat, it's time to reassess the situation!
Guidelines to make mealtimes easier
- Be consistent with the rules.
- Constantly use language to describe what you are doing and feeling, and ask your child to do the same.
- Give your toddler choices.
- Have at least one mealtime together as a family each day.
- Set up the Environment.
- Increase independence around meal times as your child grows.
- How much food does my child need?
- Help! My child is a picky eater!
Matthew Sneyd & Jennifer Yu talk with parents about Surviving & Thriving with your preschooler during the global pandemic in a 4-part Workshop series.