My children love Sushi but when we make it at home Otto (3yrs) will play with and eat all of the rice. So I was thinking, why not make Onigiri. Onigiri are Japanese rice balls traditionally made in a triangular shape and wrapped with Nori. We've taken a slightly different approach and used children's rice moulds. Some Japanese parents use these moulds to make decorative rice balls for school lunchboxes. Onigiri can be left plain or have toppings or fillings. For now we've decided to keep our Onigiri plain. I presented Otto with various rice moulds, just cooked (warm) Sushi... Read more →


What are your children making today? It's a cold day and we are having friends over for dinner. So I was thinking of making homemade pizza. What goes best with homemade pizza? It has to be homemade garlic bread! I enlisted my three-year-old to help. Garlic bread doesn't need a recipe but I wanted to show you our steps. Just to say, we can, if we have the time, we can include our young children in the making and baking but also we can include them in hosting, in demonstrating hospitality towards our guests. Otto (3yrs) couldn't do this all... Read more →


Today we spent a lot of time in the kitchen so I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some practical life work. Above Otto is using an electric juicer. This is super efficient compared to a manual juicer. The child needs strength to hold the orange and press down. When pressure is applied to the juicer it rotates to juice the fruit. It's also faster than using a manual juicer, Otto can easily juice a bag full of oranges. The pouring part is a little tricky. Remember to have a small sponge nearby. A tasty treat and... Read more →


The new school year is almost here so it feels like a good time to share some lunch box tips for Montessori families and those attending Montessori schools. Please know that we are not perfect, these are things that we strive towards: allow the child to participate in the making and packing of lunches - young children can slice vegetables or peel eggs or simply put the ingredients into their lunch box. Montessori from the Start recommends children from five years start to prepare their own lunch. This allows the child to have some input into and ownership over their... Read more →


We've been reading Busy Little Hands Activities for Preschoolers: Food Play by Amy Palanjian. Amy has a refreshing approach to food and this is reflected in Food Play. I love the article on Yummy Toddler Food about the importance of exposure "We can expose kids to a wide variety of foods by eating it ourselves, by having them be involved in the preparation of it, by taking them to the grocery store. We can expose them to a lot of foods without putting that insane pressure on ourselves.". The conversation about the five internal drives to eat (hunger, togetherness, curiosity,... Read more →


I am always looking for new and interesting snack ideas for my children. In case you are too, here are eight snack and food prep trays that we've used recently. Jam on Pikelets - spreading strawberry jam onto pikelets. We often use crackers for spreading activities so it's nice to use pikelets for something different. Melon Balls - my three-year-old finds this difficult but it's worth the challenge. We use a small melon baller and some cocktail picks to make it easier to share. I've cut the rounded end off the melon so that it sits flat on the chopping... Read more →


Are you looking for something new to make with your children? I love making Gnocchi with Otto (36 months). I set the activity on his low cooking table so he can reach everything he needs. Bringing the activity down to the child's level is a good idea if possible. It tells the child 'this is your baking'. The child takes the lead and I am there to help and guide when needed. Gnocchi is great for children who like to get their hands dirty and for those who love play-dough. The Gnocchi dough needs rolling and cutting and this rolling... Read more →


I love a good sensory tub but I know there are more authentic sensory experiences for toddlers. Cooking can be a wonderful authentic sensory experience. Is there another activity where the child can use all of their senses? Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch? The thing about cooking is the child can experience heat - the sound, smell and feel of the food cooking. They can contribute to a family snack or meal. You know that toddlers can cook safely? Toddlers have been doing it for years in Montessori schools and communities. It is the Montessori approach that has inspired... Read more →


This year has been difficult for Otto (2yrs). After moving in January it's taken us months to fully set up our prepared environment to the point that everything is working and functional. But it's so worth it, and it's worth taking time to get it right. As Otto's environment and little spaces in our home came together I noticed a change. Slowly he has taken on more responsibility for his personal care, slowly his level of concentration, patience, perseverance and ability to play alone returned. Having his own snack cupboard is just a small but important part of our prepared... Read more →


I've noticed a lot of parents using the Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook, so much so that I decided we needed to give it a try. Do you have this cookbook in your collection? It was only released last year so perhaps it's new to you? The Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook: Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipes to Cook Together has 40 healthy mealtime (dinner or lunch), snack and dessert recipes. It also has: a good range of healthy and easy to find ingredients. good, clear, attractive photographs including a photo for each recipe. easy to follow instructions. instructions that are colour coded so... Read more →


This morning I was cleaning and restocking our toddler fridge and thought it would be fun to take a few pictures of what is in the fridge and how Otto uses it. All three of my children use the fridge but as Otto is the only one that can't reach the main fridge, he uses this fridge the most! Let's take a look. In our toddler fridge we always have: water in a large dispenser sliced fruit and/or vegetables yoghurt a few pieces of (whole) fruit in the bottom, usually apples or oranges dip - hommus, beetroot hommus or avocado... Read more →


Today we made some delicious Carrot and Zucchini Mini Muffins. I took a few pictures I thought I would share. In the UK, and perhaps other parts of the world, Zucchinis are known as Courgettes! Above are Otto's little baking shelves. He can access this himself. Mixing bowls, trays, cooling rack. On the bottom shelf there is his watering can, small spray bottle for cleaning and a little bucket with toddler sized cleaning cloths. On the hook there is a chopping board and this is also where his apron often hangs. His utensils like spoons, mashers, whisk are in the... Read more →


One of the main concerns parents have about children accessing their own snack is their ability or lack of ability to self regulate, that the child will eat everything that is available at once. My advice is to start small, perhaps one banana and one orange and allow the child to choose. At eighteen months Otto now has more food options available to him and although it comes slowly, he only snacks when he's hungry and only eats a small selection of what is available. But how do we manage it? Portion control helps. I only put out what I... Read more →


Otis (7 years) and I often look for recipes to make together. We discovered these cute cinnamon rolls but wanted to make them from scratch and we wanted to make them in a more child-friendly mini size. So we adapted a recipe. They were so fun to make and they taste delicious. They were so good I want to share with you! Most cinnamon rolls recipes use yeast, these are easier for children to make (and are foolproof) using self-raising flour. Ingredients for the Dough: 2 Cups Self-Raising Flour 2 Tablespoons Sugar 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 100g Melted Butter 2... Read more →


I'm always looking for fresh food ideas for my family so today I'm sharing some of the dips and spreads that my kids are loving. These are colourful, rich, vibrant and perfect to serve with fruit, vegetables, crackers or perhaps some sourdough! Hummus - my whole family love hummus. My number one tip is from Smitten Kitchen - remove the skin from each chickpea before putting them into the food processor. This takes time but is worth it, the result is a creamier and smoother texture hummus. If you haven't tried it before, please give it a go, it makes... Read more →