How we operate with food and our toddler(s)

Hello everyone !

I was thinking the other day about how stressful the holidays can be for parents trying to have their children eat at the table on Christmas day. As I was reflecting on what I have seen – myself as a child, my nephews and nieces, cousins… well, everybody has their own way of dealing with food, from: “You need to finish what is on your plate before dessert” to “of course sweetie, you can eat all the cookies and non of the meat on your plate!”.

We fall somewhere in the middle, in a Montessori way to respect our child(ren) but also teach them to eat.

I am writing this article thinking about our young toddler aged 16 months but also about the toddlers we used to care for in BC and many other older toddlers I have seen and taught in the past years and still now.

For babies, we use Baby-Led-Weaning which can almost translate into Division of Responsibility when they grow older.

To sum up what you can see on the link I dropped above, this is what DOR (Division Of Responsibility) is:

The adult is responsible for What, When and Where to eat.

The child is responsible for How Much or whether she eats – you have to trust your child will eat what she needs until she is not hungry. If she chooses not to eat, we don’t make a big deal. She will eat eventually.

We provide a variety of food from each group and trust the child to eat a variety over time.

lily cooking
Cooking with a lovely 16 month old student. She was involved in making healthy pancakes.

To help getting there we also make snack and meal time an occasion for fun (i.e. make the table beautiful with flower arrangements, centre piece made by the child, a occasion for the child to participate (i.e cooking together, harvesting our own veggies…) and we try – to the best of our busy life ability- to make meals on the same schedule everyday.

So far, I have to say it has been working, I do not worry about what they eat as long as they eat something at some point.

I do not offer sweets or salty snacks that would be unhealthy as some of them could only choose that and let’s be realistic they do not need it.

Snacks are made of at least on fruit or veggie along side another food from another food group such as cheese/yogurt… or a piece of bread or a homemade muffin.

I hope this can help ease the holiday meal time – even if this is one full of sweets !

If you have any questions or need some help or advice, feel free to ask in the comments.

Have fun cooking to prepare some fun Holiday meals and snacks!


PS: Here are links to our dishes used for babies and that we still use for our toddler and also the dishes we use for our preschool students and our girl.

plate with succion cup to hold it in place on the table and also the bowl. These are awesome quality and come with a spoon made as the plates and bowls of bamboo and silicone.

-I also found these bowls at a cheaper price but I am not sure about the quality of the products as they are made of plastic – we do avoid plastic for environmental reasons ourselves but I know plastic is sometimes hard to get away from.

-If you are ready for using breakables that are however very solid, use the set from IKEA. 


This article has affiliate links at no cost to you. 

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