One mum asks when should kids be capable of getting themselves a drink and a snack without assistance.

Sharing on MoM she posted, “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?

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“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.”

Mums share their experiences

Teaching kids how to be independent and contributing at home is a big part of Steve Biddulph’s book, ‘Raising Boys’. Steve is a big believer that teaching them how to cook serves them well for life and offers a great opportunity for you to connect with your child and pass on your skills.

Steve strongly believes that kids should be cooking a family meal by the time they are nine years old.

But not everyone agrees with that idea.

Billie agreed saying, “At 6 my kids could make a sandwich, make drinks and simple snacks. They helped with dinner prep and baking. They could make a cup of tea…supervised for boiling water. They also made snacks and sometimes lunch for younger siblings.”

Maree said, “My eldest son started making flavoured milk and cereal at the age of 4 and by the time he was 5 he was making his own tea unassisted.”

Jen shared, “My 7&8 yr olds can make their own breakfast – cereal or toast. They make sandwiches. My 12&14 yr olds can do basic meals”

Stacey said, ” My 10 year old helps to cook dinner with us, and if we aren’t home from work by 5.30, he knows how to turn the oven on and pop something in for us all. He makes himself noodles, toasties or soup after school and helps his 5 year old brother make his toast etc. the sooner you get them in the kitchen the better it is for them.”

However Dianna disagreed saying, “I have 3 kids – almost 11,7 and 4, I prepare all their meals including school lunches. They help in preparing their meals but I would never expect them to do it all until they’re older.”

Barbara also agreed with Dianna saying, “I loved doing it. Still did till they left home. They are young for such a short time. If they want to, sure. But if they don’t, it shouldn’t be forced. It will then be a chore.”

Molly shared, ” If you are doing meals for his siblings I don’t see the harm in making them for your older child. My mum was still making my lunch and dinner in high school and always cooked dinner until I moved out.”

Meanwhile one mum joked, “Shit……. my ex-husband was 38 before he could do any of these.”

Do your kids get their own snacks etc? Share your comments below

  • If you are in a house that all the taps are fairly high and the benches are wide 6 y.o. child may not be able to reach the tap without standing on a step, which depending on the floor surface may not be safe. If snacks are low enough where they are stored they should be able to get them. You may prefer them to ask first rather then just take one otherwise some kids tend to snack and not eat their meals. A 6 y.o. should be able to make toast provided the power points aren’t too high (ours were) and get the milk out of the fridge for cereal. Ours are allowed to use the microware to heat it. They are allowed to help prepare food to go in the oven but are not allowed to use it themselves. They don’t watch out for our toddler who is still learning not to touch some things.


  • My kids 6 and 8 get their own breakfast most mornings, I do cooked breakfasts on weekends, they always like helping prep meals, I want my kids to know how to cook for themselves when they are older.


  • My kids are 8 and 10 and they can get their own snacks. The 10 year old is still scared of the microwave and toaster and the 8 year old uses it confidently. I think it depends on when they feel ready too.


  • my son is 2.5 and he loves helping me to unload the dishwasher, cook his toast, pour his milk, cook etc. I love to cook and he loves to learn how to do new things, so I think under supervision its never too early to let them try doing new things


  • Cooking, budgeting, grocery shopping, and cleaning are all incredibly important life skills that I believe should be introduced at a young age. In a very simplistic way at first and then slowly built upon.

    • I agree – these are such wonderful life skills and it is a joy to teach and pass on these life skills.


  • I think there are different chores that you can introduce at different ages. It also depends on the child.


  • My kid is 4 and yeah he picks his own fruit and museili bars but nothing more than that!


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