Independence in the kitchen is an important part of children’s social and emotional development, but it can be stressful to relinquish control over your food preparation and storage areas.
At Modernize, we understand that kitchens are full of potentially dangerous and otherwise child-unfriendly items, so it’s important to get your organization right if you want your kids to be able to access food and drink independently.
Here are some tips for setting up a kid-friendly fridge that will allow little ones to help themselves without stressing you out.
The most important part of kid friendly fridge organization is accessibility. Make room on your lower shelves for their snacks and drinks. Invest in a few fridge caddies or other storage containers to keep everything in one place, or set aside one of the crispers for kid food. If your fridge is above your freezer, consider keeping a small stool nearby so your kids can reach the fridge without swinging from the doors. Just make sure to keep an eye on them if they’re doing any sort of climbing, because food is definitely better in the fridge than on the floor.
2. Portion control
If you’re worried about how often your kids will use their newfound fridge independence, consider dividing out snacks into single serving size bags or boxes. After you’ve completed your weekly shop, take a few minutes to set up their section of the fridge by chopping and portioning their fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll be surprised at how much longer your fresh produce will last (and how much less waste you’ll have!) when you take a little time to prepare and portion out snacks ahead of time. Your kids will also thank you when they don’t have to wait for you to peel, chop, and cut every time they want a snack.
3. Safety precautions
If your kids are keen to access your fridge independently but you don’t quite trust them to make their choices safely, keep a close eye on them whenever they go for a snack. Keep all alcoholic drinks on higher shelves, or better yet, in a separate, locked fridge in the garage. Make sure glass jars, spillable items, and potential choking hazards are also kept on the top shelves, well out of reach. If you’ve made your fridge fully accessible to your kids already, they will be more likely to go for their own designated sections when they’re hungry instead of rummaging around amongst the condiments.
Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. Her writing is featured on Modernize.com and a number of home decor sites around the web. She can also be found blogging from time to time on her personal blog, A Vicar’s Wife.