Skip to main content

Family Meals -- Montessori Baby Week 31

Introducing solid food to your baby can be such an exciting time! But, weaning -- as we call it in Montessori -- can also be nerve wracking and stressful too. For me, there's always been this sort of dread over whether or not we are making the right feeding choices, how we are going to make it work in reality, and how to create this positive relationship with food. Montessori weaning has provided a lot of answers, especially when it comes to family meals.

Family meals are important in a Montessori home. Placing a baby at the family table is the perfect compliment to using a weaning table.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

It's weaning time -- that is time to introduce solid food, not stopping breastfeeding -- with Augustus! So, I wanted to share how we are approaching family meals. There can sometimes be this misconception about Montessori weaning that small children eat alone at weaning tables instead of with their family. This simply isn't true. Eating is a communal activity and babies and other young children should be involved in the process. 


With Nora, we all ate at the weaning table for months and months. When she was big enough to join us at the larger table then we moved back to eating our family meals there. With Gus, we knew that 5 of us eating at a weaning table was an unrealistic expectation, and began the search for a Montessori-friendly high chair. I was lucky enough to find a Svan High Chair at a consignment sale. This chair allows Gus to eat directly at the family table with all of us.  


By eating at the family table, babies get to see, smell, taste what you are doing. They get to be involved in the conversation, model how you are eating, and see grace and courtesy in action. Ideally, a place should be set for the baby to eat that includes the baby's weaning spoon, weaning cup, plate/bowl and place mat. This gives the baby a realistic experience and extends respect to the child. 

In reality, we set our table for Gus about 60 percent of the time. You know, life {and the hangries} get in the way and sometimes, food directly on the table does the trick! I'm just happy if he is with us, enjoying our meals, and soaking it all in. 

Family meals are important in a Montessori home. Placing a baby at the family table is the perfect compliment to using a weaning table.

Do you include your baby in family meals? 

Comments

The Lion said…
We are entering the weaning period as well and recently read "Baby-Led Weaning", review here: http://www.ahouserises.com/books/review-baby-led-weaning-review-books-parenting-babies-children-food/

Summary: first babies play with their food, then they learn to eat it, and it's helpful if you respect that order as parents

Our little lion can't yet sit up on his own so we've attempted a few lap-based wean-feedings/playtime when we have the patience and willingness to clean up the inevitable mess, but we'll let him work at a weaning table when he is coordinated enough to balance himself on the chair.

It looks like Gus is doing well and having fun playing with his food!

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 


So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 


First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Sensitive Periods from Birth to 6 - A Chart and Guide

Dr. Maria Montessori spent her life observing, studying, and writing about children. During her lifetime of work she discovered that young children move through a series of special times when they are particularly attracted to specific developmental needs and interests. She called these times, sensitive periods. During the sensitive period, children learn skills related to the sensitive period with ease. They don't tire of that work, but seek it, crave it and need it. When the sensitive period passes, this intense desire is gone, never to return. 

That doesn't mean the skill is lost forever once the sensitive period is over. Instead, it just means that it will take a more conscious effort to learn. As Dr. Montessori explains, 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.
"A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly a battery that furnishes energy. It is this sensibility which enables a…

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me. 
This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable. 

As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help, we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps me remain fle…