For quite some time now, Peeper's been able to get a cup from the bottom cabinet, open the refrigerator and get herself some water from the Brita dispenser. She doesn't always manage to turn the water off in time - or at all - but mostly, she's got that down.
So, I've been saying that we need to get her some snacks within reach, but haven't bothered to actually do anything about it. A few days ago, though, she "fixed herself breakfast" when we were both still asleep, which involved the remainder of a loaf of bread and a cheese stick that she couldn't open.
So, I started saying it more often and more emphatically, and today, I finally did it!.
Introducting: Peeper's Snack Station(s)!
This is the set-up for now. If I find that we really need that shelf space for
bowls of rotting crap leftovers, I might switch to deeper baskets and put them inside the produce drawer. I really need to find a better (non-refrigerated) place for those two apples anyway.
I also need to get some tape or something and a Sharpie and make a more permanent label. That's just dry erase and it's coming right off.
In the fridge, she's got one basket for protein and one for "rainbow things" ie fruits and veggies.
The "rainbow" basket: sliced apples (left over from Sonic the other day, but I cut up a real one after the photo was taken), spinach, bell peppers, black olives and a carrot.
The protein basket: turkey lunch meat, pepperoni, meatballs, cheese sticks, "zipper cheese" (Baby Bel) and yogurt.
I also have another basket in the down-low cabinet, with non-refrigerator snacks, like Goldfish, raisins, apple crackers, jerky, "squeezy" apple sauce and some all-fruity things that she's probably not going to eat.
When I showed it to her, she was so excited! But the first thing she did was look at the label I was pointing to, and open the drawer underneath it. Oops!
She took out an apple, took one bite, spit it out and told me to get rid of the skin. (See above, re "I cut up an apple . . . .")
After I pointed her in the right direction, she checked it all out, and by bedtime, she'd had Goldfish, apple crackers, two cheese sticks, 3 slices of turkey and about four tiny cups of milk. (We declared that "dinner.")
When she started pulling on the gallon of milk, I decided that she could have a "Peeper-sized" container from which she can serve herself. For now, I've only put a few ounce in it, and refilled it several times, but we'll see how it goes and maybe I'll start making it fuller. First, we have to see if she can keep up her end of the bargain, which is that she can only have her own bottle of milk if she can not spill it.
I've explained that "sometimes foods" will stay up high, and a grownup will have to get those for her, but she's welcome to have these any time. I think I mentioned that she should eat from all the baskets, but if I didn't, I will tomorrow.
Since I've got so many things portioned out in Ziplocks, I've told her to put it on a plate or in a bowl, and leave the bag in the basket for a refill. I said that if the bags not there, I'm not putting more in. (Pretty sure that's a bluff.)
Of course, I'm not going to be rushing to refill everything right away, especially things like the Goldfish.
So far, she seems pretty happy about being able to fend for herself.