Food preparation is what Montessorians call a “practical life activity.” It helps teach independence, coordination, and responsibility in addition to basic kitchen skills. Advocates of the Montessori method often say it’s a good idea to have a cupboard set aside in your kitchen that children can reach so they can make their own snacks.

This cupboard is where you store child-size plates, cups, and utensils. You’ll also store non-refrigerated snacks in the cupboard and set aside space on a low shelf in the refrigerator for snacks that need to stay cool. Here are a few ideas for easy snacks you can keep on-hand for children to make for themselves.

Cut Fruits

Fruits are some the simplest and healthiest snacks you can offer children. Children can cut bananas and peel citrus fruits like clementines with a butterknife. The dull blade gives kids practice cutting without the risk of hurting themselves.

With supervision, children can use an apple slicer to core apples. Though the slicer blades are sharp, the fact that children need to keep both hands on the handle minimizes the risk of them being cut.

Ants On A Log

For ants on a log, you can either keep celery sticks in the refrigerator or let children cut the celery themselves. With a two-handed chopper, cutting celery is a safe activity. Just supervise closely to make sure kids keep both hands on the handle.

Once the celery is cut, give kids a child-size spreader so they can fill the sticks. Peanut butter is a popular filling, but if kids are allergic to peanuts you can use other nut butters or a nut-free alternative. Hummus also works. Provide raisins for kids to top the snacks.

Yogurt Parfaits

Instead of serving sugary kids yogurts, let children make their own healthy snack using plain or lightly sweetened yogurt and layering in their favorite additives for parfaits. This snack lets kids practice scooping and mixing.

Providing several different additives will let kids customize the snack themselves. A few ideas include healthy granola, cereals, nuts, fresh fruit, and frozen fruit.

Cupboard Staples

You can also keep ready-to-eat snacks in your child’s cupboard. Veggie straws, trail mix, healthy granola bars, and crackers are all easy to store and easy for a child to get out by themselves. In the refrigerator, sliced cheese and cut veggies make for a quick and easy snack.

Giving children the opportunity to prepare their own food is a key part of Montessori education. It’s something we do here at school when serving snacks, and it’s something you can take advantage of at home as well.

The Montessori Toddler JourneyCOVID 19 Update for Pebblecreek Montessori – March 14, 2020

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