Mealtimes should not be experienced as routines to get through. Mealtimes should be a midday respite, beginning with thankfulness and appreciation for the people who prepared and delivered the food cart. Engage the children in mutual discovery and discussion as each bowl is unwrapped and placed upon the table for family-style dining. Think about your favorite restaurant dining experience and the ways in which you can re-create the calm, serene enjoyment of mealtime with children. Can you develop special songs, chants, or poems for green beans, macaroni and cheese, or applesauce? Can you talk about the sources of the foods? Where does pineapple come from? Each bite of food contains the life of the sun and the earth, a feast for mind, body, and soul.
In loving memory of Gryphon House author Leanne Grace, MEd, we are sharing pieces of her inspirational writing every Wednesday. Leanne was the director of professional development at Hildebrandt Learning Centers and a lifelong advocate for early childhood education. She inspired the early childhood community to prepare children as lifelong learners with her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. One person can make a difference, and Leanne did just that. She will be sorely missed.