"We must support as much as possible the child's desires for activity, not wait on him, but educate him to be independent" - Maria Montessori, The Child In the Family
My son loves applesauce. If he could eat applesauce at every meal and snack, he would be the happiest child ever! To save money and also to encourage his independence we decided to make our own applesauce. It is very easy, and requires just a few steps to prepare the space for the child.
The biggest piece of advice- know that this is a process. True, there is a finished product that is yummy, but for me, it is more about modeling healthy eating and getting him involved in cooking/baking early on.
Having the proper tools that your child can use is also important. The next time we make applesauce I will have a different apple corer/slicer. Our son required just a little help getting each slice started. Once I prepped the apples (washed and sliced into disks), we set everything up on his low table so that he could stand and have full range of motion. The bowls that he would need were arranged for ease of movement, keeping his small cutting board right in the center for easy access. I showed the complete process of selecting the apple disk, placing it on the cutting board, slicing it, then separating the apple pieces into the crock pot bowl and the core into a separate bowl. He then took over and was incredibly engrossed in the task at hand.
A wonderful book that has great tips and recipes is Kids in the Kitchen: Simple Recipes that Build Independence and Confidence the Montessori Way by Sara E. Cotner and Kylie D'Alton.
Have fun and enjoy spending time with your child!
Beth is a mom first and foremost. She is also a trained Montessori teacher who is passionate about making the lofty ideals of the Montessori philosophy more real and manageable for families.