Hand-Powered Mini Food Mill



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Gross motor movements = great pureed ingredients!

The Hand-Powered Mini Food Mill makes a fantastic addition to your child's Montessori Kitchen, or even just to a shelf of Practical Life or gross-motor activities. 

This tool allows a child to deliver a larger volume of pureed ingredients, ensuring that he or she can be actively and successfully involved in the cooking experience. The Mini Food Mill can be used to puree a range of soft fruits using a 'rotary' motion. The finished pureed product can be eaten as is or can be used for sauces, dressings or as baby food.

Serving suggestion: Soft fruits like bananas, pears, kiwi and berries work well in the Mini Food Mill. It also functions with many other fruits - and combinations of two or more - so your child will be able to experiment and explore!
The Mini Food Mill arrives in two pieces so it is simple to 'click' together to assemble. It can also be separated again to make washing easier and more effective. 
It requires a surprising amount of strength, coordination and endurance to keep the mill stable by holding the handle with one hand while turning the handle with the other. It offers an emphasis on gross motor movements. It is therefore ideal for younger children, as motor development tends to progress from 'global' to 'local' coordination, or for those older children who either greatly enjoy large movements or who may need a bit of encouragement to build muscle-tone. It can be very tempting as adults to focus on the importance of fine motor control, particularly in relation to writing, but don't forget that the wrist and arm are also involved in the writing process too. Precision movement of the pincer fingers is fantastic, but a lack of muscle-tone in the surrounding hand and arm can cause early fatigue when writing! If you know your child, or one of your students, has a precise pencil grip but seems to tire quickly of writing or drawing then perhaps it is time to incorporate some more gross motor experiences into your home or classroom environment. 
This is also a great opportunity for children to experiment with hand-dominance. Both the left and right hand will need to be simultaneously involved in this task, but for different aspects. By trying both tasks with each hand, and swapping back and forth, your child may become more attuned to which side feels more controlled and comfortable. 
The Mini Food Mill also provides an opportunity to promote a child's social and emotional well-being when a new baby is welcomed into the family.
The arrival of a brand new brother or sister can often be an emotionally complex time for the older child(ren) in the household. There is certainly excitement and joy about the baby, but there is often also a sense of fear about the accompanying changes the baby brings. The older sibling(s) can feel anxious about how their roles in the family might change, particularly in relation to the baby requiring so much attention from mum and dad. 
In my experience, based on observing many older siblings adjusting to the arrival of their baby brother or sister, it often seems that these anxieties start to surface a couple of months after the baby is born. It seems that by this stage the 'novelty' has worn off and the older child is starting to realise that the baby is a permanent part of the family unit. 
If this tricky stage arrives (or even if it is all smooth-sailing between siblings!) the Mini Food Mill offers an opportunity for those older siblings to be empowered and involved in the act of caring for the little one (when the baby is ready to start consuming pureed solids). The older brother or sister can use the Mill to prepare pureed food for the baby. This helps the older sibling to feel included (rather than feeling like he/she is excluded when mum or dad tends to the baby's needs). It also gives the older child and the younger child an opportunity to bond - as all parents know that 'feeding time' can be a beautiful bonding experience. The older child's protective, nurturing instincts can be triggered or strengthened by being involved in this 'care for others' - this can help to lessen the space for negative feelings such as jealousy or anxiety.