Monday, December 24, 2007

December 24. Dining with very little children.

Being a part of the social life of the family is VERY high in the priorities of a 0-3 year old child. During these important years, the little ones basically want to do everything that they see the adults around them do. This includes eating at a table. Eating together and all the wonderful things that it involves (Food, Langugage, Sensory Information, Cultural Information) can be one of the richest moments of family life and there is no reason why the tiniest child cannot participate.

As Christmas gifts for the little ones that I have been observing as part of my Montessori A to I training, I made special small place settings. In Sweden we used these in the classroom at very low tables for every meal and snack that the children had. An adult was always close to the child to help, and to remind the child (over and over) those menial details like- "the broccoli doesn't go in the glass". The lowness of table was also a safeguard against things breaking on the floor. The place where the spoon, dish, and glass (or fork and knife) go is chain stitched on to the mat to give a visual reminder of where things belong. One large adult place mat makes four tiny ones, shot glasses are cheap and replaceable, the spoons are adult dessert spoons, and the bowl or dish can be of any kind but with raised edges for easy scooping.


Nara said...

Hey, who made that really neat-looking place-mat eh?? Hahaha! btw, I have now subscribed to your blog, woohoo!

Nara said...

Really cool: "Some very interesting research studies of young, pre-school age children have tried to determine just how much our taste buds can be trusted. Children in these studies were selected because of their known, pre-existing vitamin deficiencies. For example, one study looked at children who were known to be low in vitamin D. These children were given a choice of several foods, but only one of the foods was high in vitamin D. For example, given a choice of orange juice (no vitamin D), soda pop (no vitamin D), and cod liver oil (high vitamin D), most of the kids actually chose cod liver oil! In other words, they seemed to be able to trust their taste buds."

Sadly, but also quite fortunate depending on the people of the family: "Many other studies, however, have repeatedly shown that even at a very early age, children tend to prefer the foods that their parents or brothers and sisters eat, and that the opinions of their family influence the way food tastes to them.

In addition, by the time we get to be adults, we've seen thousands of food commercials on television; we've accepted responsibilities that can make our week highly stressful; and we've had years and years of eating without trying to foster an awareness of our body's reactions to food and and what it needs."