Have you thought about ways of supporting your child's developing independence at breakfast time? Perhaps you already have a great set-up? Once the child reaches around 18 months old there is usually a way they can participate in making breakfast. Perhaps for the very young child, it could involve dumping pre-measured cereal into their bowl and pouring pre-measured milk over the top. Perhaps it's as simple as the child picking out fruit while you add it to yoghurt or oats, peeling their own boiled egg, chopping their own banana, or spreading jam on toast.
Want to see what breakfast looks like in our home (at 3 years)?
We have breakfast cereal, a bowl, honey, and a spoon on our low snack shelves. The child at three years can add cereal to their bowl.
They may need reminding to put the lid back on the cereal and I often need to tidy or wipe down this area after.
The child then takes the bowl to the low table next to the fridge.
Then gets the milk out of the fridge. We don't fill the pitcher in case the child spills, but there is enough here for cereal and a small drink.
The child pours the milk over the cereal and returns the milk to the fridge. The child takes the cereal to the table. He also gets his spoon, honey, and cloth napkin from the snack cupboard and takes them to the table.
Today, he decided to have some juice for breakfast too. He independently pours his juice.
Then takes the juice to the table.
Time to eat!
Time for juice.
Using the cloth napkin is a part of our grace and courtesy lessons.
He takes the bowl to the dishwasher.
If he's still hungry he might also have some fruit, also in our little fridge.
He doesn't always do all of these steps independently. There are plenty of times I help clean up or fetch a forgotten item. Sometimes we have an adult-made breakfast like scrambled eggs, avocado toast, or pancakes, and when we do we try to keep the child in mind and allow them to help as much as possible.
Independence isn't necessarily the goal. We want to show the child what they are capable of, to build their skills and sense of self. It is about the child's self-formation. Most young children want to contribute and to do as much as they can at breakfast time. We want to set the child up for success, and once the child feels competent and confident in helping with breakfast it may flow over to other areas of their life.
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!