In my practice as a parenting coach, I regularly advise my clients to involve their children in everyday cooking tasks in the kitchen. Next time your recipe calls for zucchini, why not ask your child to help you peel it?
These types of activities are a heavy point of focus in the Montessori method of parenting, as they allow the child to hone their concentration and fine motor skills, while simultaneously developing their self-esteem as a capable contributor to the family meal.
When children participate in the evening menu and play a significant role in what’s being served for dinner, they tend to be less picky eaters — they’re more emotionally invested in the outcome and enjoy tasting the results! When your child peels a zucchini, it suddenly takes on a whole new appeal!
In the past, I have recommended starting your child with simple tasks such as scrubbing a potato, peeling garlic, mashing an avocado or peeling a hard-boiled egg. A more experienced child may be ready for the more precise task of peeling a zucchini, perhaps by two-and-a-half years of age.
Though you’ll want to caution your child before they go to work with a hazardous utensil such as a peeler or a box-grater, a zucchini is an ideal vegetable for them to try out their new skills, because it has a soft skin which is easy to remove.
Provide them with a security message before beginning the activity and explain they will need to be careful and that we do not use these devices as toys. If they cut themselves accidentally or ruin the zucchini altogether, don’t panic … these can also be a valuable learning experience!
Find out about the many benefits of engaging your child in something as simple as peeling a zucchini, and how it can inspire them to become a healthier eater.
P.S. Would you like my support and guidance setting-up your Montessori home? If, yes then go ahead and schedule a ‘Discovery Session’ with me. It’s free and you’ll know if we are a good fit. 😉