It's almost been a year since I first shared our snack shelves so it feels like a good time to give an update. It makes sense to show you the children's fridge at the same time to see all the food the children have access to. Both of these areas are used by my three and nine-year-old.
The food here is for snacks, morning and afternoon tea, and often we will use food from here to make lunch too. The snack shelves also contain cereal and the fridge has milk which the children will use for breakfast. These areas don't always look this tidy, often things are stacked up unevenly or lids are only half on, some days we are out of yogurt or fruit and the fridge is emptier.
The children are able to use these spaces independently. My children have had independent access to snacks from toddlerhood, so we build a type of rhythm in relation to eating and allow the child on some level to self-regulate. There are days when the children eat a lot and days where they don't eat much at all. My children only have access to the foods I'm happy for them to eat. For example, they have access to fruit juice but only around two glasses, which is one glass each.
There is a water filter and dispenser on the left. The water dispenser is sitting on our little food prep table. This is where my three-year-old preps most of his snacks, pours his drinks, and more. It is beyond helpful to have some low surface for him to use. In our previous homes, we used a low coffee table tucked in next to the kitchen bench.
Inside the fridge, we have hummus with carrot and cucumber sticks, leftover mini sushi, cut grapes, hard-boiled egg, leftover pasta, mini banana muffins, whole blueberries and raspberries, strawberries and fresh pineapple.
While there is nothing in the freezer part, in summer we will sometimes put in a few Zooper Dooper type ice blocks or frozen berries that the kids can add to their yogurt.
You can see this is a great height for young children.
Each morning I take a look in the fridge, remove empty (or almost empty) containers and wash and refill the milk and juice jugs. My teenager will also raid this fridge if he can't find any tasty snacks elsewhere so most often all the food is eaten by the end of the day.
These are the children's snack shelves. It is located on the lower kitchen shelves under our pantry shelves.
On the top shelf, we have sourdough bread, cereal, crackers, avocado, kiwi fruit, tuna, snack popcorn and prepackaged seaweed snack. We also have some children's cutlery and at least one bowl and one plate.
What we have on the lower shelf changes day to day depending on which kitchen tools the children are using the most. Today we have a compost bin, window washing tools, apple peeler and corer, strawberry slicer, egg slicer, cleaning mitt and cleaning cloths, children's knives, and a children's peeler.
The children will use most of the bread and cereal here so that needs to be topped up daily. There is a children's dustpan and brush on a hook on the doors to these shelves to assist with kitchen cleanup.
You can see my three-year-old can just reach in and get what he needs! He can do some food prep here or take it over to his table. He will need some help opening the tuna or cut the avocado but overall this allows him to be as independent as possible and really to do tasks that are well within his skill set. While my two older children are free to come and go in this space, my preschooler is 100% supervised in this area and while eating.
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