When my husband was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and was to be hospitalized for a month followed by six months of chemotherapy, I knew I needed to increase my four (now five) year-old daughter's independence so she could get her own breakfast in the morning. I needed the time to take care of other household duties and get myself ready for work.
My refrigerator has drawers at kid-height so I designated one of them as my daughter's Breakfast Drawer.
On Sunday, I fill the drawer with five individually-packed servings of each:
- Yakult probiotic drinks. They come in little bottles she can open herself.
- Grains such as cereal, bread, a muffin, Sunday-made pancakes, or a bread roll.
- Proteins such as cheese, yogurt, hard-boiled egg, or sliced turkey or ham.
- Fruit such as grapes, strawberries, blueberries, dried or canned fruit.
In the morning, I set out a plate and a glass of water before my daughter wakes up. She then chooses one item from each category, gets anything else she needs like a spoon or salt and takes it to the table. She usually eats her cereal dry so I don't often have to deal with the milk, and she likes her breads cold and untoasted without butter or jam, so that makes things easier, but for the pancakes, I sometimes put a little pitcher of maple syrup in the drawer and remind her not to drink from it.
On Saturday and Sunday, we usually eat all together.
The Breakfast Drawer has been a time saver for me and my daughter is proud of her independence.
Pride and self-confidence come from real accomplishments. I'm sure your daughter knows she's making a difference for both you and her dad. I speak for everyone here when I wish your family good health and strength.
A practical note: if your fridge doesn't have built-in bins at the proper height, you can do the same thing with a large, plastic container or open bin placed on the bottom shelf.