Can Preschoolers Prepare Their Own Breakfast?

With the right foods and tools in place, your child can have an independent start to the day.




Invite your child to be in charge of her own breakfast. If you make the right foods and tools available, she will gain practice at becoming self-sufficient. Here's how to help:

  • Build independence skills. A 3 year old can carry things to and from the table; those who are 4 can learn to pour; at 5 let her try slicing a banana or spreading jam on toast. Heap on the praise as kids master new skills.
  • Stock healthy foods such as fruits, low-sugar cereals, whole-grain breads or toaster waffles, breakfast burritos, juice, and low-fat cheeses and milk. Young children need the energy breakfast food supplies to kick-off the school day.
  • Supply child-friendly kitchenware that is unbreakable, spill-proof, and easy to handle.
  • Simple pouring. Help your child master the art of pouring by transferring liquids and solids to unbreakable pitchers or containers that have easy-to-grasp handles.
  • Plastic basics. Store unbreakable bowls, plates, cups, and silverware in a place where your child can reach them herself. Encourage her to set her own place at breakfast.
  • Fun tableware. Whimsical items — a colorful egg cup, a cup with a wacky straw — encourage kids to take charge of their meals. Look for new items and add to your collection of "kidware."
  • Easy endings. Build on school clean-up skills — kids can clear their dishes and sponge the table. Add to the appeal with small-size tools, colorful cloths, and fun-shaped sponges.
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