Transform Your Kitchen with a Montessori Approach

By Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

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Time to Read: 11 min

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home. It's a space where family meals aren’t just prepared. It’s also the place where laughs are had, secrets are shared, and memories are made. 


But what if your kitchen could also be a space where lessons are taught? The Montessori method can do just that: fostering independence and learning through hands-on experiences. By transforming your kitchen with a Montessori approach, you create a space where your child can participate in daily tasks, build confidence, and develop essential skills in a supportive environment.


Whether it's pouring water from a glass dispenser, chopping fruits and veggies on a child-sized cutting board, or learning to clean up after snack time, a Montessori kitchen invites your child to explore, learn, and grow in ways that go beyond traditional play.


We're here to give you tips on setting up a Montessori kitchen that empowers your child, brings joy to daily routines, and turns every meal into a shared adventure.

About Ahimsa

Founded by a pediatrician and mom of three

Stainless steel is the only kid-friendly material recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics 

We are guided by a Scientific Advisory Council comprised of environmental and medical experts, guiding us in creating the safest products, following the latest science and promoting policy to protect human health and our planet

Want to know more? Check out our story and our products

Why Create a Montessori Kitchen?

A Montessori kitchen does more than just give your child a space to mimic your cooking. It's a powerful learning environment where your little one can build independence and confidence and develop essential life skills.

Montessori Kitchen | Baby Drinks from Ahimsa Cup

Encourages Independence and Self-Confidence

In a Montessori kitchen, everything is within reach, making it easier for your child to pour their own water, serve snacks, and clean up after themselves. This level of accessibility allows them to complete tasks without constant assistance, boosting their sense of autonomy and confidence.

Develops Fine Motor Skills and Practical Life Skills

From peeling vegetables to transferring water, the tasks your child practices in a Montessori kitchen develop their fine motor skills. Pouring, chopping, and stirring are not just fun activities. They lay the groundwork for essential life skills they'll use throughout their lives. 


Montessori kitchen setup opens up opportunities for children to foster their physical coordination and fine motor skills by engaging in hands-on activities, from pouring and transferring to cutting and peeling.

Mealtime Essentials

Promotes Healthy Eating Habits

By involving your child in food preparation, a Montessori kitchen encourages curiosity about different ingredients and meals. Kids are more likely to try new foods and develop healthy eating habits when they're part of the process.

A Dynamic Learning Environment

The kitchen, according to Montessori principles, is a classroom that offers endless opportunities for discovery and growth. It transforms routine activities into educational moments, enhancing your child's practical life skills and responsibility for their well-being. This environment is dynamic and continuously engaging, where ingredients transform into tasty dishes, and every cooking session is a chance to explore new textures, tastes, and smells.


This environment is also helpful in enhancing language and math skills. Cooking introduces a rich vocabulary, making language development a delightful part of daily activities. Descriptive words like "chop," "pour," and "stir" become a part of their daily communication, enhancing language development in a meaningful context. Measuring ingredients and following recipe instructions introduce mathematical concepts in a tangible, engaging way.

Joy in Shared Activities

Cooking together not only strengthens your child's skills but also your bond. The Montessori kitchen invites children to join you in the process, turning daily routines into moments of shared joy and connection. Even new toys can't capture attention like the magic of ingredients transforming into tasty dishes surrounded by intriguing things to taste, touch, and smell.


A Montessori kitchen is more than just a place to cook. It's a nurturing environment that encourages learning, creativity, and family togetherness, transforming your kitchen into a space where every meal becomes a shared adventure.

Principles of a Montessori Kitchen Setup

A Montessori kitchen is designed to emphasize independence and child-led activities. Everything from the height of countertops and shelves to the placement of utensils is considered to ensure your child can operate independently. Children feel empowered and engaged by creating a space that allows them to reach their own plates, cutlery, and ingredients.


Creating a positive and encouraging atmosphere is also important. The kitchen should be a place where children feel safe and supported in their efforts to explore and learn. Use positive language that focuses on their effort rather than success. It’s also highly important to show patience as your child masters new skills. Be sure to celebrate their achievements, no matter how small, and gently guide them through challenges.


As your child grows, their needs and abilities will change. The Montessori kitchen should evolve too. This might mean adjusting the height of shelves, introducing more complex tools, or reorganizing the space to better suit their developing skills. Regularly assess the setup to ensure it continues to meet their needs and encourages their independence.


By integrating these principles, your Montessori kitchen becomes a fluid, adaptable space that grows with your child. It’s not just about making it easier for them to help themselves. It’s about inspiring them to take initiative, learn new things, and feel confident in their abilities.

10 Essential Steps to Set Up a Montessori Kitchen

Creating a Montessori kitchen is a transformative experience that brings joy and learning into your child’s daily life. Here are ten essential steps to help you set up a Montessori kitchen that empowers your little one and nurtures their love for learning.


  1. Understand Montessori Principles: Familiarize yourself with core Montessori principles like independence, hands-on learning, and child-led activities. These principles shape the foundation for your kitchen setup.
  2. Assess Your Kitchen Space: Evaluate your kitchen's layout and identify areas where your child can participate safely. Designate accessible shelves, counters, and storage for utensils, plates, and ingredients. Clear and organized spaces promote autonomy.
  3. Invest in Child-Friendly Tools: Equip your Montessori kitchen with child-sized utensils, dishes, and kitchen tools. Look for items made of durable, child-safe materials with ergonomic designs to allow your child to participate in cooking and cleaning activities seamlessly.
  4. Create a Food Preparation Zone: Allocate a specific area for food preparation with child-friendly knives, cutting boards, and other tools. This space allows your child to actively contribute to meal preparation, promoting culinary skills under your guidance.
  5. Promote Independence with a Snack Station: Dedicate a low shelf or drawer as a snack station stocked with healthy, pre-approved snacks. This empowers your child to independently choose and prepare snacks, instilling a sense of responsibility.
  6. Establish a Cleaning Routine: Introduce child-sized cleaning tools and designate a space for them. Encourage your little one to participate in cleaning up after cooking, instilling a sense of responsibility for maintaining order.
  7. Teach Practical Life Skills: Integrate practical life skill activities like pouring, stirring, and measuring into your child's kitchen routine. These tasks develop fine motor skills and cultivate a love for practical, everyday activities.
  8. Keep a Positive Atmosphere: Celebrate your child's efforts, regardless of the outcome, and create a space where learning is a joyous adventure. Show patience and support as your child learns new skills.
  9. Adapt and Evolve: As your toddler grows, reassess and adjust the Montessori kitchen setup to accommodate new skills and interests. This adaptability ensures a continuous and enriching learning experience.


By following these steps, you'll transform your kitchen into a space that empowers your child to explore, learn, and build confidence, turning daily routines into moments of joy and discovery.

Tools for Your Montessori Kitchen

The right furniture and tools are important for creating a Montessori kitchen that encourages independence and exploration. They help create an environment where your child can safely explore and participate, turning simple tasks into opportunities for growth and independence.


Giving your child tools that fit their hands empowers them to participate fully in cooking activities. Choose durable, child-safe tools that are easy to grip and use.


  • Knives: Serrated knives with blunt tips allow your child to safely chop fruits, vegetables, and more.
  • Utensils: Child-sized spoons, spatulas, and whisks make stirring, mixing, and serving easier.
  • Cutting Boards: A small, non-slip cutting board gives your child their own space to work.
  • Pitchers and Glasses: Lightweight pitchers and unbreakable glasses for pouring.
  • Mixing Bowls: Shatterproof mixing bowls in various sizes.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Sets that fit comfortably in little hands.


A functional Montessori toddler kitchen goes beyond pretend play and invites children to explore real tasks with purpose. Here’s how to set up a practical kitchen space:


  • Remove Non-Functional Elements: If you have a play kitchen, remove any parts that don't serve a practical purpose, like toy microwaves and non-working faucets.
  • Add Real Elements: Replace toy faucets with functional water dispensers or cutting boards. Your child can practice washing hands or dishes and chopping fruits and veggies.
  • Organize Cupboards: Store utensils, dishes, and cleaning supplies in cupboards at your child's height. Keep just a couple of each item available to avoid overwhelming messes.
  • Incorporate Cleaning Routines: Provide towels, dustpans, and a compost bin to teach your child the value of cleaning up after themselves.


With the right tools, your Montessori kitchen will empower your child to explore and take ownership of their space, transforming meal preparation into a shared adventure filled with joy and learning.

Transform Your Kitchen with a Montessori Approach

Creating a Montessori kitchen is all about inviting your child into the heart of the home and empowering them to be confident and capable. By emphasizing independence, child-led learning, and a positive atmosphere, your kitchen becomes a nurturing space where every task is a chance to grow.


From pouring water to chopping veggies and cleaning up after meals, a Montessori kitchen allows your child to build essential life skills while fostering a love for healthy eating and family moments. Adapt the space as your child grows, celebrate their efforts, and enjoy the learning and connection that fill each day.


By transforming your kitchen with a Montessori approach, you're giving your child the environment to explore, discover, and thrive, turning every meal into a meaningful adventure. Here's to a kitchen where independence, joy, and learning come together beautifully.


Shop Ahimsa today for plates and more.

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi is a board-certified pediatrician whose dedication to children’s health drove her to launch Ahimsa, the world's first colorful stainless steel dishes for kids. She was motivated by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ findings on harmful chemicals in plastic affecting children's well-being. Ahimsa has gained widespread recognition and been featured in media outlets such as Parents Magazine, the Today Show, The Oprah Magazine, and more.

Dr. Mantravadi received the esteemed “Physician Mentor of the Year” award at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2019. She was also named a Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneur in 2021, with her inspiring story showcased on Good Morning America. She serves on the Council for Environmental Health and Climate Change and the Council for School Health at The American Academy of Pediatrics. She represents Ahimsa as a U.S. industry stakeholder on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Global Plastics Treaty, led by the United Nations Environment Program. Dr. Mantravadi leads Ahimsa's social impact program, The Conscious Cafeteria Project, to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard student health as part of a national pilot of the Clinton Global Initiative.

She is dedicated to educating and empowering people to make healthier, more environmentally friendly choices at mealtime. Her mission remains to advocate for the health of all children and the one planet we will leave behind for them through real policy change within our food system.

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi is a board-certified pediatrician whose dedication to children’s health drove her to launch Ahimsa, the world's first colorful stainless steel dishes for kids. She was motivated by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ findings on harmful chemicals in plastic affecting children's well-being. Ahimsa has gained widespread recognition and been featured in media outlets such as Parents Magazine, the Today Show, The Oprah Magazine, and more.

Dr. Mantravadi received the esteemed “Physician Mentor of the Year” award at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2019. She was also named a Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneur in 2021, with her inspiring story showcased on Good Morning America. She serves on the Council for Environmental Health and Climate Change and the Council for School Health at The American Academy of Pediatrics. She represents Ahimsa as a U.S. industry stakeholder on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Global Plastics Treaty, led by the United Nations Environment Program. Dr. Mantravadi leads Ahimsa's social impact program, The Conscious Cafeteria Project, to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard student health as part of a national pilot of the Clinton Global Initiative.

She is dedicated to educating and empowering people to make healthier, more environmentally friendly choices at mealtime. Her mission remains to advocate for the health of all children and the one planet we will leave behind for them through real policy change within our food system.

More Mealtime Essentials

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use stainless steel instead of plastic? Is stainless steel better for health?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report in July 2018 suggesting ways that families can limit exposure to certain chemicals at mealtime, including “the use of alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible.” The report explained that “…some additives are put directly in foods, while “indirect” additives may include chemicals from plastic, glues, dyes, paper, cardboard”. Further, “Children are more sensitive to chemical exposures because they eat and drink more, relative to body weight, than adults do, and are still growing and developing.” While stainless steel items meet the recommendation to avoid plastic products in children, Ahimsa® products have the obvious advantage of not breaking like glass.

Is stainless steel better for the environment than plastic?

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, steel can be recycled over and over and over again without losing its integrity and requires less energy to recycle than to make anew. Most plastic unfortunately ends up in landfills and it is estimated to take 700 years to decompose. Our special coloring process that allows Ahimsa® products to be fully metal is environmentally friendly, so it does not produce toxic run-off into the ecosystem.

Will Ahimsa products break or peel?

No. Our steel is durable, so it won’t break or shatter with everyday use, like glass. And it won’t peel, like other colored stainless steel products you’ve seen. We use a special process that allows the colors to naturally occur in the metal.

Which Ahimsa products are best for my little one(s)?

Our products are meant to last, you can use Ahimsa at ages 1, 8 and 18! We thoughtfully design our products to be safe for little ones and our planet while reducing consumption. Once your child outgrows the Starting Solids Set  and can use regular cups and utensils, the training cup is the perfect size rinse cup in the bathroom, the infant spoon doubles as a tea stirrer and the bowl is great for snacks or as an additional compartment to our modular divided plate. Our plates are great for any age as they encourage choosing a variety of healthy foods at each meal and help visualize portion sizes easily. It’s the lasting beauty of stainless steel - grows with your child and reduces waste.

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