Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Snack time!

Every day I try to think of how I can give Freddy (23 months) more choice.  I look out for little sparks of interest in things and try to put a work or project together ready for him to discover the next day.  At the moment Freddy is all about choice with a capital ME!

I have already tried to add more choice to the getting dressed routine so I thought it was about time to give some more alternatives about what he eats.

We just went through a phase of Freddy not eating very much at all (apart from milk) but we seem to be getting back into solid food again now (thank goodness), and what better way to celebrate his new found sense of hunger than with a snack table:

On the snack table there is a bowl containing rice cakes and knäckebröd (Swedish crisp bread), a fruit bowl with oranges and bananas, two jars of different nuts (cashews and hazelnuts) and on the tray is a small jug of water and a glass.

I then add a different 'activity' to the table such as slicing bananas, peeling carrots or scooping seeds depending on what Freddy wants to do.  For example, today he brought out the slicer from his cupboard and asked to slice a banana.

The water pouring is always fun for him and he will often pour from the jug to the glass then tip the water back into the jug and start again.

Learning and well-being are improved when people have a sense of control over their lives and that is especially true for toddlers. 

When they feel like they have some power and control over what they do it can really calm them down (as we are discovering at the moment). It’s a step in growing up. Everything isn’t planned for them and making good choices is a skill that children will use for the rest of their lives.

The key to giving children choices is to first decide what choices you will allow them to make,  that way any choice that they make is suitable.

Do you have any tips for how to add more choice to your toddler's life?

This post is linked to the wonderful Living Montessori Now site.


  1. This is a really nice snack time set up! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing. This is so lovely. I am trying to think of somewhere where I can set this up for B, but think I'll have to wait until she has her "play kitchen" at Christmas (won't be really a play kitchen at all, just extra storage foe our tiny galley space!).

    Can I ask where you got the little crinkle cutter, whisk and the other cutter on his bottom shelf please?

  3. Hi Rach,
    The big cutter came from Michael Olaf (michaelolaf.net). It's really nice but for very young children it's a little large. I have found the smaller one to be perfect for Freddy's age but I'm not sure where it came from as it's the cutter that my mother used to make crinkle cut chips when they were all the rage in the 80's :) I just had a look on ebay and there seems to be quite a few very similar ones and even a version that looks better (just google Tala Stainless Steel Crinkle Chip Cutter to see the style)
    The hand whisk came from Lakeland but they are cheaper on ebay (£4.95)
    Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  4. You're a star. Ta.
    I do so love your "style" and the natural/homemade quality of the activities.

  5. That's a real compliment Rach. Thank you!

  6. I love, love, love your snack table, Rachael! What a great way to reinforce food preparation skills and encourage independence! I shared your link at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and added it to my Montessori-Inspired Food Preparation for Preschoolers post at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2011/11/08/montessori-inspired-food-preparation-for-preschoolers/

  7. Hi Rach,
    thank you for sharing this, it's so amazing :)
    My 15 months old girl is going through a hard time with the soup :( She's not a great eater anyway, she's skeptic to everything I introduce. She eats a little and only milk with biscuits, plain yogurt, pureed fruits and avocado. No soups at all, I've tried varieties of vegetables cooked in different styles, but she rejects everything :(. I decided to take a time off the soups, so I'm not giving her soup anymore. But am afraid that this period may last, like forever :(
    Apart from this, I'm very depressed because of the fact that she doesn't chew what I give to her, she only swallows everything, unless she puts it in her mouth with her hands i.e if I give her avocado in chops, she will spit it, but if she takes chops of avocado and puts her in her mouth with her hands she will chew and actually eat it, but since she doesn't eat much, she doesn't chew many things.
    Any help? How can I motivate and teach her to chew? I've tried EVERYTHING. When i decide not to blend the food, she will puke or spit it out of her mouth, so given that she rejects to eat most of times, I prefer to blend things, so she can keep something in her tummy.
    Any suggestions?


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