9 Answers

My son is 6 and still requests all his meals, beverages and snacks. He is reminded that he is able to do most of these tasks without 100% of my help but I’m not sure if I’m expecting too much? Is making his own breakfast, i.e. toast or Milo, appropriate? What age did you stop being a full time chef in the kitchen and allow your children more freedom and responsibility for their own meals? I still make food for his younger siblings, so I also don’t want him to feel like I’m being unfair either by making him think of what he wants to eat and helping get it together.

Posted by Kidsquad3, 2nd August 2019

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  • At age 6 I still would closely supervise around any heat source / electrical appliances and sharp knives

  • I think 6 is a reasonable age to start – just the basics, sandwiches, cereals, etc. Slowly introduce him to more complex things by cooking together, keeping him well supervised and trying to make it seem like a fun thing to do.

  • I think 6 is a good age too, though some supervision may be required.

  • I think 6 is a good age to start making their own breakfast, I was lucky because my son complained about the way I did things so I said make it yourself and he did. Also when he was 10 I got really sick and he was able to make basic meals for both of us. Making your children feel capable is a trick but once they feel good about it there is no stopping them. My son is now a teenager and makes his own breakfast, lunch and alternate nights of dinner. But I still do the dishes!

  • Its such a hard thing really and I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to this, but I think let them be kids as there is plenty of time for them to grow up later. If they want to help make or prepare food or do it themselves then let them but as long as they aren’t demanding and are asking politely I don’t think its unreasonable at 6 years of age to still get their snacks for them. My children are one 5 year old and 3 year old twins and sometimes they get their own food and sometimes they just help but mostly I get it for them.

  • All children are different so I’d let them try themselves but also be there to watch that everything is okay and they are doing things safely. My eldest son started making his own breakfast and lunch at around 6 but I wasn’t comfortable letting him use a sharp knife. I’d slice tomatoes, cucumber, cheese etc and have them on a board. He’d butter his bread and put on what he wanted and that way he could put it all together and not be in danger. As my youngest has slight autism I would do things a little different. I’d do the same with the salads but he wasn’t allowed to make anything that involved using heat until he was much older.

  • My eldest 3 are well able but unfortunately my 9yr old has kleptomania (in the context of RAD) and steals lots of foods (and other items) and eats herself sick and we needed to lock all food cupboards, fridge and freezer. Resulting that none of my kids have free access to food or preparing it.
    But when your son requests still all food to be made for him a first step would be to do it together. Also baking and cooking together can be a lovely activity to develop his skills and in the same time have some bonding time. Make it into a positive experience.

  • As soon as you have taught them how to do it properly and safely, I would still supervise or be near for if they needed help, the whole knife in the toaster thing scares me, but my son has started to spread his own jam etc but that is about it, the youngest two like to help now though

  • All my kids were doing simple things like sandwiches, toast, cereal, warm milk, around 5 years. When they turn 11, I start teaching them things like scrambled eggs and they help with preparing dinner.

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