I have heard all the reports and experts spout out about how a good breakfast is essential for your kid to start off the day right and learn more in school. The problem is how to get my kids to EAT that breakfast.
I went to seven different websites looking for breakfast suggestions. (I found these websites by doing a search for kids and breakfast.) Here are their suggestions and why most won’t work for my family.
Website #1 (www.npr.org)
Suggestion #1 – Peanut butter toast and a glass of milk
Child 1 – won’t eat peanut butter or toast.
Child 2 – allergic to peanuts, won’t eat bread and doesn’t drink milk.
Suggestion #2 – breakfast burrito (scrambled eggs and salsa on whole-wheat tortilla)
Child 1 – doesn’t eat eggs.
Child 2 – will eat eggs and tortilla (has not had them together) – no salsa – This one might be doable.
Suggestion #3 – whole-grain toast with melted low-fat cheese and tomato
Child 1 & 2 – won’t eat cheese, toast or tomato.
Suggestion #4 – whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk
Child 1 – will eat cereal with milk – but we already had this down as a possible breakfast item.
Child 2 – nope, might eat cereal but not with milk and usually doesn’t eat enough cereal to count.
Their foods to avoid: soda, chips, sugary cereal, breakfast pastries, donuts
Website #2 (www.bhg.com)
Again, they list things my kids won’t eat – cheese, trail mix, cottage cheese. They do list yogurt as a good choice but this is one of the lunch choices for Lexie, and since she can’t have too much dairy it is either a breakfast OR lunch item – not both.
Website #3 (www.babycenter.com)
This one was heavy on the smoothie suggestion. I might have to try this at least for Lexie. Another option was fruit salad with a dollop of yogurt but again, this is usually Lexie’s lunch, so I don’t know if I can do it in the mornings too.
Suggestions – various muffins, Ham & Cheese sandwiches, pancakes and smoothies. Pancakes my kids like but I don’t know that I will have time for this on very many mornings. Some of their recipes such as breakfast tortillas had a 45-minute prep time. I don’t have time for that!
Website #5 (minesota.cbslocal.com)
This one featured a registered dietician who suggested you include items from three food groups: whole grains, proteins and fresh fruit. She suggested cereal but not every day. Her suggestion: oatmeal made the night before. And you know what – you guessed it – my kids don’t like oatmeal!
Her next suggestion – apple sandwich. No bread or peanut butter eaten here so that is out. After that she suggests ham and cheese on a tortilla. No cheese for my kids. Thanks, but not much help on this site for the picky eater.
Website #6 (kidshealth.org)
This site says any breakfast is better than no breakfast. (Totally agree with that!) It says to avoid doughnuts and pastries. (Agree with this in theory at least but sometimes something is better than nothing.) They say if you eat a doughnut, you won’ feel full for long. I think the same thing about eating fruit for breakfast.
Their list of traditional breakfast items: eggs (yes for Lexie, no for Jase), waffles or pancakes (yes for both), cold cereal (yes for Jase, no for Lexie), hot cereal (no for both), toast or English muffins with cheese (no for both), yogurt with fruit (Lexie might go for this but again, this is my plan of what to send for her lunch), fruit smoothies (willing to give this a try again).
Website #7 (www.education.com)
Here they suggest hard-boiled eggs (again, something my kids won’t eat), muffins (again a no), pancakes (ok), omelets (Jase doesn’t eat eggs and Lexie is fine with just plain scrambled eggs – she won’t eat the veggies they suggest adding to the eggs) and then the list goes to more no items – cheese, bread, peanut butter and oatmeal.
Pintrest has a lot of good-looking breakfasts for kids but just because you shape something into a lion or bear doesn’t mean my kid will eat it. Plus who has the time during the busy school morning rush to create these meals.
So needless to say my search online has only added smoothie to my possible breakfasts. I know you shouldn’t load them up with sugary food before school but sometimes that might be the only way to get my 5-year-old to eat something, and something is better than nothing.