Talking about where food comes from and seeing where food comes from are two very different things, especially when it comes to young children. I can’t reiterate this point enough, but thought this story was the perfect example.

Over the past two years, Oliver has helped me many times in the kitchen. His expertise is guacamole but he also just magically appears whenever I am baking something. We often talk about where the ingredients came from — butter from cow’s milk, eggs from chickens. But recently, after having the privilege of taking care of someone else’s chickens for a week (and regularly collecting their eggs to eat), Oliver made the connection. The next time we were baking in the kitchen, he picked up an egg as if seeing it for the first time, then said to me, “This egg is from a chicken.” Honestly, it took that whole experience of caring for chickens for him to put two and two together. Such a cool moment as a mama to see that lightbulb moment happen.

And here at our house, planting a seed and checking on a seedling’s progress over several weeks, watching it grow and then push something large and purple out of the soil until a nice round beet is practically balanced on top of the soil ripe for the picking is an enjoyable, interesting process for a kid. It’s like magic! And then the best part, the tugging and pulling until pop! out it comes!DSC_0002DSC_0008

Oliver is usually our beet harvester (and kale harvester), but Emil was lucky to pluck these from the ground while Oliver was out of the house for a few hours. And then, of course, he had to scrub all the dirt off and help peel them for the delicious recipe we shared yesterday.

DSC_0035It sure is great having little helpers who are as enthusiastic about veggies as I am!

And on another note, I don’t think I ever shared that all three boys got into the Montessori school we where hoping for! They will be starting in late August and we are all giddy with excitement, especially after spending a really nice evening chatting with other families on the school grounds, exploring the nooks and crannies of the land they will play on and the chickens they will care for. There is also, of course, a pretty amazing garden they will tend. It feels surreal in the best way. Though the decision to change schools was a really tough one, we felt some pieces of the puzzle falling into place so perfectly; sometimes you just feel when you fit somewhere, like you are supposed to be there. It’s a very good feeling to be entirely excited about our boys’ upcoming education, one that brings a lot of peace and clarity.

4 thoughts on “Montessori-Inspired”
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  1. I love how much your boys take part in cooking and preparing the foods. I have a question, do you think it has helped make them better eaters? Are they more open to trying ‘anything’?

    We have constantly battled ‘picky eating’, and while I can see the places where we veered, and the children’s eating started getting more and more limited, we continue to strive to open up their pallets. This year our garden box is actually harvesting produce (horray!), and we had hoped it would spur excitement to try new things, but it still has been difficult. Just wondering how your children eat?

  2. Annie, I think it depends! They are definitely more likely to eat something they have harvested themselves, but they are also still kids and thus sometimes picky eaters. My advice would be to try a food you know they already love and let them be in charge of it next summer, from seed to fruit. Emil is big on strawberries — he goes into our garden several times a day and helps himself, and while he’s in there, he often tastes a few mint leaves. I think it’s a great place to start.

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