Establishing independence is key to instilling a healthy lifestyle in your child from an early age and a fundamental part of your child’s experience at a Park City Montessori school. Children with autonomy in their eating habits are likely to continue those habits throughout the rest of their lives. Contrast that with strict, parent-enforced rules regarding eating behaviors in the home – a child may submit for a moment, but will soon revert to the unhealthy behavior. Here are a few ways to establish healthy, independent eating habits in your child:
- Let them prepare their own food. With a little help, Elementary Prep and Elementary students should be able to put together a lunch of their own each evening in preparation for school the next day. Children naturally enjoy food more when they’ve selected and prepared it; eating then instills in them a sense of accomplishment.
- Designate a space for especially for your child’s food. Set aside a cupboard in your kitchen for snacks especially for your child. Stock it with healthy items, such as fruit, crackers, real fruit leather, and granola. This creates options for your child while still allowing you to control their choices.
- Help them to learn the importance of proper eating. At school, your child will study the food rainbow to understand why it’s important to make good food choices. Hang a picture of the food rainbow in your kitchen so your child can make those choices effectively.
The transfer of practices learned from the classroom to the home is a fundamental aspect of your child’s experience at school. Begin this transfer by initiating healthy habits at home.
Duna Strachan, AMS
Soaring Wings International Montessori School
Park City, Utah USA