This is how I attempt to both empower my child’s independence and my own rest by making self-service food prep a reality.
Let’s start with breakfast. I strongly encourage my big boys to make their own cereal in the morning by putting the milk on a low shelf in a container they can easily pour. We bought a few different styles before settling on this model, the Lock&Lock 1 liter jug, because it’s easy to carry and hard(er) to spill. We also leave the cereal in reach.
Our kitchen has large drawers at floor level so we use them to chuck all of the plasticky child-friendly dishes and cups in there. I don’t fret about stacking and organizating within the drawer which gives me two key benefits: emptying the dishwasher is a breeze (I practically throw the stuff in) and kids don’t have to worry about toppling the pristine order when they set the table.
Notice too, that I don’t keep the breakable stuff in there.
We apply a similar method to organizing the baby bottles and sippy cups. I have a clear plastic bin on the countertop lined with a white washcloth. I toss in all the associated parts once they come out of the dishwasher and the bits can finish drying together. Clean pacifiers and medicine squirters often make their way in the container. No, I don’t expect my toddler to make his own bottles. Yet.
Do you have any secrets and tricks in your kitchen to encourage your kids toward independence?