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  • Writer's pictureiSpark Holistic Happiness Studio

Children And Mealtimes

Updated: Apr 30

Montessori educational design is created with certain primary needs in mind such as eating, toileting, and playing. Meals can be an opportunity for children to learn coordination, responsibility, and a sense of contribution.

Why Mealtime Routines Are Important

Mealtime routines in Montessori classrooms provide children with order and a sense of security. Feeding schedules help a child to develop regular patterns of appetite. In general, young children should have three meals and two to three snacks each day to ensure that they are well-nourished throughout the day.

A Clock At iSpark Showing Time
Clock @iSpark To Ensure Mealtimes are Followed

How Mealtimes Can Become Chaotic

Common Problems in the educational design that can occur during mealtime include:

  • Refusing to eat

  • Standing while eating

  • Throwing food

  • Demanding a device while eating

These can be solved by using the following steps:

  1. Acknowledging Feelings - It is important to be empathetic and convey things with a calm voice to engage the child’s attention.

  2. Stating Expectations- Children need to be told that food is not for throwing and that they must sit down to eat.

  3. Offering Choices - Children need to be given choices, choose one and stick with it.

  4. Enforcing Consequences for Actions- If food has not been eaten when brought, it is taken away using negative consequences to condition the behavior.

Children at iSpark Montessory Learning Space sitting and eating
Mealtime @iSpark

The use of a weaning table in Montessori classrooms also establishes comfort and encourages their participation in the process of eating. The Montessori system encourages at least one meal to be eaten as a family meal. When the child is eating with family, using a high chair that pulls right up to the table helps them feel included.

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