Meal times are a great way for children to become independent learners as they develop new self-help skills, such as hand washing, serving their own food, using tongs and pouring water into their own glasses to drink out of, as well as washing their own hands and faces before and after meal time. The older children help to clean the table and chairs after meals as well.
Educarer’s watch the children experiment with serving their food and drinks and have noticed that they appear to enjoy pouring their water onto the plate or bowl and mixing it around with their spoon.
When at home, if a toddler shows interest in the kitchen, share what you are making, look at recipe books together, talk about ingredients, include them in the process and they will feel empowered and engaged.
The respectful approach to food (and to all areas of life for that matter) with our children is to avoid all manipulation: never using food to distract, to bribe, to punish, or as a means to any end. There should be no emotional entanglement attached to food. Examples of this would be: “No dessert if you don’t eat your veggies”, “one last spoon for mummy”, offering snacks to keep a child occupied or distracted.
Respecting our children also means avoiding labels.
We act in the best interest of all members of our community and the wider community.