Avoiding Pitfalls when Dining with a Toddler

Who doesn’t love a dinner date? There is something so universally appealing about sharing a meal with your loved one: eating delicious foods whilst engaging in conversation and enjoying each other’s company.

Of course, most of us have a different image in mind when the meal companion is a young child. Below are the three most common pitfalls you can avoid in order to have more enjoyable meals together.

Toddlers eating according to Montessori / Batole a jídlo podle Montessori

  • Embrace the mess (and the cleanup). Instead of hovering over your children to make sure they won’t spill or drop food, it’s much more pleasant to relax, expect mess to happen, and make sure the child has the tools to clean up (napkin, wet sponge or cloth, sweeper and mop). Here is a promise: if the sight of a two-year-old scrubbing their chair clean won’t make you smile, I will eat this article.

  • Don’t sweat the calories. It takes a lot of energy to force, plead, or threaten some children into eating the “correct” amount of food. While, in fact, you want your child to listen to their body’s signals and eat only as much as they need. Unless a child has certain medical conditions, it is completely safe and natural for their appetite and nutritional intake to vary widely. If you really find yourself worrying whether your child is eating enough, track the average they eat in a week. 

  • Take the time for meals. Food is interesting and should be enjoyed and explored. However, set the expectation that during meals, we will focus only on food and one another. Just like checking your phone is a faux pas at a dinner date, toys, screens and wandering off should not be acceptable during your child’s meal. This healthy habit is very easy to implement – simply require that a child sits down to eat and help them clean up if they leave the table.  

Toddler setting a table according to Montessori / Batole připravuje stůl podle Montessori

Eating with Montessori Toddlers /Jak jí batolata v Montessori jeslích

Teaching children to use cutlery and dishes / Jak učíme děti používat příbor a nádobí

By Michaela Tučková, IMSP Toddler Teacher

Want to learn more? Read our next article:


Další články

Forest Exploration with Toddlers

At IMSP we are fortunate enough to have access to a forest right on our doorstep. This offers invaluable opportunities for our toddlers to explore the natural world with the support of their guides. Interaction with the natural environment provides mental and physical health benefits for children and adults alike and allows children to be inspired by the world around them, away from their usual home or classroom environments.

Read more

A few minutes with Abdul from Kenya

We "made a trip" to Africa to ask our adopted schoolmate Abdul how he is doing.

Read more

Exploring Practical Life Through Cloth Washing

Toddlers need hands-on experience with life skills in real purposeful ways.

Read more


Sorry, this article is only in Czech.

Read more

Get To Know Primary Lead Teacher: Veronika Newkirk

Veronika wanted to be a teacher from her childhood. Despite this she was graduated from Legal Studies at the Charles University. After having her first child, she fell in love with Montessori and her dream job came true. She devoted her career path to being a Primary Montessori teacher.

Read more
Join us for
an interactive
open house 27.4.
Register for Summer
Toddler & Me
Enroll your child
Virtual tour