Older children need to be able to feel more independent, and teenagers can eat you out of house and home. Both groups will do well to have some freedom as to what after school snacks they can have, or what meals if they are home alone.
Giving them a food cupboard of their won is a good way to handle both of these situations. They can learn responsibility, and this frees you up to worry about other things. It will also save you some money, because you will have more control over how much your child is eating.
Now, how to create the cupboard:
- Step 1: Choose an appropriate cupboard, one which your child can easily reach all the way into the back of.
- Step 2: Decide what types of food items you will put into the cupboard. Will there be items that need to be cooked? This will depend on the age of the child. You may allow them to only use the microwave when they are gone. Teenagers may have full access to the stove and oven.
- Step 3: Sit down with your child and get his or her input on what they would like in the cupboard.
- Step 4: Set up a designated area in the refrigerator for items that need to go in there. Maybe a shelf on the door. Make sure your child knows that she/he is only to touch what is in her/his designated area.
- Step 5: Clear and wash out the cupboard that will be known as your child’s cupboard from now on.
- Step 6: Set a budget for the week and take your child shopping.
- Step 7: Have your child put his/her groceries away. You will, at this time, want to prepare things like peanut butter and crackers. This way, there will be less mess on your child’s part.
- Step 8: Go over the rules of the cupboard food system. Is this only for after school snacks? Meals and snacks? Go over the safety rules of the stove/oven and microwave.
You may find other things that you need to do to prepare.
P.S. Share with us your experiences regarding children’s set-up in your home in the comments section. Thank you.
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