FOOD PREPARATION INTRO: SPREADING

  1. Slicing
  2. Spreading
  3. Food without heat
  4. Food with heat
  5. Recipes using measurements
  6. Creating recipes

It was time for lunch and, when searching in the refrigerator, I quickly realized we were out of prepared hardboiled eggs. The girls have enjoyed practicing slicing on their journey to becoming more independent in the kitchen. E and V both love sourdough bread, so this was the perfect opportunity to go over spreading avocado on bread as spreading is the step in Montessori food prep.

We supply the avocado, already smashed and ready to spread. But, in time, they will smash their own as another step in the process. The steps in food preparation help to teach order. As with everything else, we provide real materials. So we use cheese spreading knives, similar to these. They are the perfect size for their hands so that they may focus on the process and not trying to handle something that is too large. We like hemp hearts, so I make sure to provide those as well, for extra nutrients.

As with slicing, I set up the area so they are working left to right. The mashed avocado goes on the left side and the bread on the right as you need to scoop the avocado mash prior to spreading it.

I model and then they take over. One things I’m always cautious with is the knife and how I handle it–what I model is what they will repeat. Although the knife is dull, I treat it as if it were a sharp knife. One thing that I always need to be mindful of is the girls using the knife as a spoon, to scoop and eat. Again, all knives should be treated as if they were sharp, so licking a knife requires gentle reminder, “please spread that on your toast,” or asking if they would like a spoon, since it’s appropriate to eat off a spoon.

It’s not uncommon for a child to prefer eating the avocado over spreading it. In time this will change.

We began spreading with avocado, as it’s light and an easy spread, but we have since introduced peanut butter. This is thicker and more difficult to spread, which can lead to frustration, so we don’t introduce spreading with it.

Has your little one shown interest in spreading or helping in the kitchen?

(The mini masher pictured.)

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