My Blog

eating

Mealtime with Baby

placematTable manners… Healthy eating habits… Self-control. We all want our children to develop these abilities, but it’s hard for parents to know how and when to start! Did you know that children have the potential to develop these qualities from the time they start showing interest in solid food?

While you might think it’s impossible to instill these qualities in your baby or toddler, it’s really not that hard if you have the right expectations and tools. Click here to learn more about Montessori...

Read more…

Show & Tell

It might seem like Montessori parents like to show off what their children can do: "Look, my baby can drink from a glass! My toddler can slice a cucumber!" But honestly, our excitement has nothing to do with bragging. At least for me, sharing my son's accomplishments is about telling other people: "Look what YOUR child is capable of, and imagine the sense of competence YOUR child can develop!"

Parents who are new to Montessori often observe a classroom and think: "My child would never fit in....

Read more…

Why Boring is Good

You might think that the home of a Montessori teacher is like a miniature classroom, with shelf after shelf of perfect little materials and not a plastic object in sight. That might be true for some teachers' homes, but not for ours! We have a little cupboard that holds a few activities: musical instruments, a basket of containers, nesting cups, and a couple of books. He also has a Ball Tower, a basket with assorted balls, a push toy, and a couple of stacking toys. That's pretty much it.

DSC02492

...

Read more…

Breaking Bread

My twelve-month old son loves LOVES bread. If it were up to him, he'd eat nothing but bread at all three meals. When he was younger, I could give him his food and then offer a piece of bread and he'd be content with the arrangement, but now that he's keenly aware of the goings-on at the dinner table, he's realized that there's bread available at dinnertime. Of course, to him that means that he can have bread instead of all the other food, and he's prepared to throw a tantrum to get his way....

Read more…

Food Fight

Yesterday at the park I struck up a conversation with a grandmother who's visiting from Argentina to help her daughter, who just had her second child. The older sibling, a little girl named Carla, is only 15 months old. Carla's grandmother told me that the little girl's world has been turned upside-down with the baby's birth, and for the past week she has refused to eat anything except fruit.

Every couple of minutes, the grandmother would interrupt our conversation to walk across the...

Read more…

Using a Fork (with video)

During the past few months, I've given Zach many opportunities to explore eating with his fingers. On several occasions I've offered him small pieces of fruit or steamed vegetables that he can grab with his hands and bring to his mouth. I thought he would find this enjoyable, since he loves to eat, but it's actually been super-frustrating for him!

Because he's only 8 months old and hasn't developed fine motor control yet, he can't grasp the pieces with a coordinated pincer grip. He manages to...

Read more…

Child-Sized: Spoons

I had a hard time finding small spoons for Zach that were made out of metal. Apparently, most manufacturers believe that a baby will hurt himself if they don't coat the spoon in soft plastic. For a while we used the Nuk spoons because at least they were a good size and the handle was metal. Then, I found these spoons on Amazon. They are perfect for little mouths and little hands, and yet they are the real thing, made of stainless steel with a nice weight and finish. Zach didn't even blink...

Read more…

Montessori Mealtimes

I come from a Hispanic culture, where mealtimes are sacred. As children, we were expected to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner sitting down at the table. We were also expected to remain seated throughout the meal, have appropriate table manners, and join in or at least listen to the conversation. Weekend meals at home and in restaurants were three-hour affairs, especially as my brother and I got older and could partake in adult discussions about politics and current events.

Those times around...

Read more…

Making the Soup

Last week I wrote about our experience with the Jaramillo Soup. The beauty of this soup is that you can make it with whatever you have in your fridge, so it's economical and uncomplicated. When I started making it for Zach, I began by giving him 2 oz. three times per day, mixed with breast milk (plus nursing on-demand the rest of the day). This meant that I was making about 1/3 of the recipe featured here. I gradually increased the amount of soup based on his demands and hunger level. By six...

Read more…

Montessori Weaning: Food and Independence (with video)

When Zach was around 4 months old, we started noticing that he was extremely interested in watching us eat. He would follow our fork from plate to mouth, opening his mouth in imitation of our actions and salivating madly! We knew the time had come to begin the weaning process.

The word "weaning" strikes fear in the heart of many parents. It is associated with the end of breastfeeding and connotes depriving the child of the nourishment and affection he has come to know and love. However,...

Read more…

Categories