June 13, 2024


Welcome to the Food

I let my 19 month-old cook her own food as it teaches her to take control of her life

LETTING your little one run wild in the kitchen could be a major fear for some parents.

However, for self-confessed Montessori mother Maria, she began getting her child used to cooking as soon as she turned 1.

Maria's daughters own mini kitchen has running water so she can rinse and wash


Maria’s daughters own mini kitchen has running water so she can rinse and washCredit: @mariaandmontessori/Tiktok
She got her used to using bananas in her cooking as they are soft and nutritious


She got her used to using bananas in her cooking as they are soft and nutritiousCredit: @mariaandmontessori/Tiktok

In a TikTok video, Maria showed her now 19-month-old daughter as she explained why she let her child cook.

Maria said: “Why are all these kids cooking in little kitchens instead of innately being kids?”

She let her daughter use the Ikea Duktig kitchen which fits her size best.

Her child began peeling a banana as she said: “It’s because that’s innately what kids want to be doing.


“They want to be involved they want to be taking control of their body

“They want to have control over at least something in their life and what they enjoy more than anything is imitating what we’re doing,” she said as her daughter put the banana peel in a mini bin by her child-size kitchen.

“Children are incredibly capable and if we show them just a couple of times how to create their own foods,” she continued as her daughter washed salad leaves in her tiny sink.

“They will be more than interested in doing so themselves,” she said over footage of her child putting the salad leaves into a blender cup.

“I can tell you all the different things she’s working on; she’s working her pincer grasp her motor skills.

“She’s working on problem solving and sequencing but more so than that she’s working to build that confidence,” she said as her daughter spooned peanut butter into the smoothie cup too.

“And that understanding that if she would like to do something she’s completely capable of doing so and that her environment is set up in a way that allows her to do so,” Maria explained.

“That if she’s made a mistake it’s completely okay to do so and there will be somebody there to guide her in that process.”

Her daughter then washed up the cup she had used to pour milk into her smoothie cup and then put it in the dishwasher herself.

“She’s learning to be confident and she’s learning to explore new foods, all while expressing her independence and having me there as her guide.”

Her daughter is seen drinking the smoothie she made from a mug, so perhaps her mum blended it for her off camera.

As for fellow parents, Maria got a lot asking her if her daughter enjoyed it as well as many praising her parenting.

While one joked: “Why is this reminding me of that scene in Matilda where she cooks for herself because the family neglects her.

Seeing a small issue with Maria’s set, a parent wrote: “Okay but functional kitchen sets like this aren’t possible for a lot of people. Love to see if its possible for kids to do this in the big kitchen.”

“This IS playing for them. If they didn’t want to do it because it wasn’t enjoyable she wouldn’t. Children learn from play.” Stated one parent.

Looking at her skills, one person wrote: “And this way they won’t hate cooking when they get older.”

“I would’ve preferred my mother indulging my cooking curiosity with a mini kitchen than me going into adulthood knowing nothing about food safety or prep,” said one who had wished they had learnt earlier.

“I love that you want children to be independent and learning a wonderful skill that will stay with them forever.” wrote an admiring parent.

“So true my kid is thriving cos I just guide her and allow her to do things like this.” said another to which Maria replied: “That’s exactly it mama!!”

Her daughter washed the salad leaves herself in her mini sink


Her daughter washed the salad leaves herself in her mini sinkCredit: @mariaandmontessori/Tiktok
She also added peanut butter to her smoothie herself


She also added peanut butter to her smoothie herselfCredit: @mariaandmontessori/Tiktok
She enjoyed the smoothie she had made herself


She enjoyed the smoothie she had made herselfCredit: @mariaandmontessori/Tiktok

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