Monday, September 28, 2015

Montessori Monday: Independent Food Prep

A few weeks ago, J and I were so tired, Theo was still sleeping and Coco got up and made herself a toaster waffle and fed herself breakfast - all while we slept! All went well, except that she used about half a bottle of maple syrup. So, a few days later, when she was asking for toast at the breakfast table, I started to get up to go make it and then realized, wait a minute! She can do this herself.
We put a little IKEA stool in front of the toaster. Coco knows there can't be anything on top of the toaster or touching the toaster. She gets the bread from the refrigerator and a paper towel to pinch it with when it pops up. And there's that Trader Joe's boxed wine. Don't knock it till you try it!
I fill a small bowl with butter and give her a plate and knife as well. When it comes to children's flatware, finding well-weighted pieces that are heavy enough, yet balance on a child's hand, is tricky. Coco received this WMF set from some friends in Zurich for her second birthday and it's amazing. Another set we like is this one.
Coco used her knife to spread the butter on her toast all by herself. She also took a few breaks to just eat the butter off of the knife!
When she was all finished, she was so proud. Not only did she do most of it herself, aside from my getting the butter, but it kept her really busy and quiet so J and I could actually have a conversation over the breakfast table. Win, win!

How do you help your children achieve independence in food prep? Or do you? I constantly have to remind myself that she's capable of so much more than we realize!

65 comments:

  1. I found your blog a few weeks ago, via cup of jo, and I keep coming back. (I am living in the Vaud region, but we will be leaving in a few months. :/)
    I love your Montessori Monday posts! I am going to look into your flatware recommendations for my little one. The knife looks like it is perfect for small hands.

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    1. Oh, I'm so happy you keep coming back! I lived in Neuchâtel the first time I moved to Switzerland and I love the more laid back vibe in the French-speaking side. ;) Where will you be moving when you leave? Switzerland is such a hard place to leave, but you'll adjust eventually!! You can get the WMF flatware at Coop City. It's worth the Swiss price tag! ;) xx

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    2. Ahh, Coop CIty, here I come! Thanks!

      Our next location is job-dependent--we are still waiting to find out the results of interviews. Not looking forward to leaving, but I am sure that wherever we end up, there will be something to love about it. :)

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  2. Adorable! And so fun to read this today: we were at a favorite café in Paris this morning (Cuillier, in Montmartre). We ordered soft-boiled eggs with toast for our 3 1/2 year old, who proceeded to butter his own toast -- it was the first time I'd seen him do it. He used a spoon and it worked surprisingly well. ^^

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    1. That's a lovely surprise! They're always watching closely and learning even when we don't realize. Bravo! By the way, I saw your meal on Instagram...looked delicious! xo

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    2. You're right, their "sponge-like" quality never ceases to amaze me.

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  3. My granddaughter is now 14 and so she's a full fledged partner in the kitchen. When she was about three one of our first adventures was Sunday brunch at IHOP. She ordered silver dollar pancakes and insisted on spreading the butter herself. She meticulously but clumsily set to her task and after each pancake met with her approval, she placed it in a pile on her plate until she had all five little pancakes in one tall stack. Then she picked them up like a sandwich with both hands and ate the whole pile that way! It was so precious and adorable.

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    Replies
    1. I love that no one interrupted her process! What a sweet memory. Thanks for sharing! xoxo

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  4. Such a great description of a wonderful activity! and she's so proud. The knife set is beautiful. My children use (sharp) knives to cut (with supervision) and it's amazing how skilled my 3 year old is at it. Which I never would have known if we hadn't tried. Also, there are a lot of spills at my house. I try to be calm about it (well, I haven't been in the past so NOW I try to be). Thanks for sharing!

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  5. This is a great article - but please dear god don't let her grab the food out of the toaster using a papertowel. I started a fire in my kitchen that way as a kid.

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