Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Montessori Snacks Ideas for Kids

In the fall I started taking my son to a wonderful Montessori Mommy & Me program. It taught me so much about how to implement Montessori ideals into our home, including at meal time since the program included a group snack.

Whatever I didn't assimilate or remember my son did a great job reminding me. Such as letting him peel his own banana or orange. Yes, 2-year-olds can peel their own fruit. I knew my son could peel the darndest stubborn sticker off of any container, but it had never occurred to me before to let him peel his food.

So that got me thinking about snacks that he could prepare himself, or that would provide a learning opportunity. Below are some things we've done at home.

Note: Montessori jobs are to be done WITH supervision and along side an adult, especially food to prevent choking, cutting, etc.  You know your child, so use discretion according to your child's age and development.

Banana: Cut the top off so it's easy to open. If you have a dull spreading knife, let them use that to slice it. Give them a fork to eat it with.

Orange (peeling): Cut off the top section, and just loosen the peel so that they have a place to start.

Orange (juicing): Use a small handheld juicer Like This placed over a cup, cut the orange in half and show how to use your hand/arm to apply pressure to juice the fruit.

Peanuts: Arrange two bowls, one should contain the peanuts and the other the empty shells. Demonstrate and they will eventually get the point. Toby doesn't put the shells in the right place but still loves de-shelling them.  Even if they don't get the point immediately, they will.

Peas: Open them, show them the peas inside and let them decide whether to eat it whole or pick out the peas.  This is fun, even for me!  :)

Grapes or Berries: (or any other small or cut fruit assortment): Take a medium-size bowl and fill it with fruit.  Allow the child to use a spoon to dish up the fruit into their own bowl.  This is a favorite.

Hardboiled Egg: After allowing egg to completely cool after cooking, demonstrate how to crack and peel the egg.  This is sure to be a favorite, even if they don't want to eat it (like my son!!). :)

Strawberries: Let them take the stem off the strawberries with their hand.

Spreading Butter: Using bread, cracker, rice cake, etc., show them how to spread butter, nut butter, etc. using a dull spreading knife.

Obviously, the selection you choose will depend on the tastes and availability of your home and area.  Be creative and share your ideas in the comments below!  I'm always open to learning something new and adding to our snack menu!  :)


  1. There are some great mini butter knives at Cost Plus, we have the whole set (fork, knife, spoon) for kids utensils. I'll have to show you sometime. :)

  2. I'd love to see them! I've heard that Cost Plus has a lot of little Montessori-type stuff, I am going to go soon!!