Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Toddlers in the Kitchen

My schedule is about to undergo an exciting shift. Instead of working four days a week from 8am-12:15pm (with the remaining hours in the evenings at home), I'm going to work three days a week from 6am-12pm (with the remaining hours in the evenings at home). Of course 6am is not a particularly desirable time to get to work (I have to get up at 5:15am), but getting off at 12 and having two free days is amazing. 

The shift started this past week. I was off Wednesday and Friday. Normally, Matt gets Henry up, helps him get ready, and takes him to daycare. But since he had to travel to Houston on Wednesday, I was responsible. Henry and I were able to take our time, since he didn't have to be to school by a particular time. 

Matt typically feeds him whole-milk plain yogurt with frozen blueberries mixed in (plus a multivitamin), but on Wednesday we had time to make a smoothie. Henry scooped the yogurt into the blender, poured in the orange juice (I poured it into a tiny pitcher first), and put in the spinach. I had to put in the frozen berries and half a banana because Henry would have gobbled them up right away. Then Henry pushed the button. He loved drinking his smoothie out of the blender cup. 

Our child-sized utensils from Montessori Services arrived, so Henry now has a whisk for beating eggs and mixing pancake batter (we cooked pancakes around an electric griddle as a family on Saturday, using this recipe). It's been so amazing to watch him develop his coordination, confidence, and critical thinking just by helping around the house.

Also, his new electric toothbrush arrived. It says it's for 2-7 year olds, but we figured it would be okay to start with a 17 month old. Henry hates brushing his teeth. I went to a Montessori parenting class, and the instructor said not to force the toothbrushing but to instead model it for Henry. Personally, getting Henry's teeth brushed well is a non-negotiable for me. I had eight cavities before I lost all my baby teeth; I don't want him to face the same fate. Fortunately, he loves, loves, loves his new vibrating toothbrush. He even requests to brush his teeth outside the normal times. So sweet! He's growing so much.

If you want more ideas about how to cook with young children, check out our book Kids in the Kitchen: Simple Recipes That Build Independence and Confidence the Montessori Way.

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Anna said...

I let my daughter (14 months) brush my teeth with my toothbrush, which she thinks is hilarious. Makes it much easier to turn around and brush her teeth with her toothbrush.

Emily R said...

I love your ideas so I let my 15 month old son get up on the stool and watch me cook dinner last night and it went so much smoother than having him down on the ground....i never would have thought to do that. while he was standing there watching i gave him some black beans and shredded cheese to nibble on and he actually stood still for 10 minutes!! it was a miracle!!

Nathalie Carol said...

Your blog is inspiring! I have been letting my 17 month old be more involved in cooking lately and he is loving it! I just bought your book and I'm so excited for it to arrive!!

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