The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: 5 Ways to Encourage Breakfast

Friday, April 6, 2012

5 Ways to Encourage Breakfast

For some reason, the number of hits on my entry of top ten reasons why breakfast is so important has increased exponentially.  Therefore, I figured that it's not enough to say that breakfast is important; parents also need to now how to encourage kids to eat that breakfast.  Here are my recommendations, but you may have others that apply particularly to your own family situation.
  1. Let kids pick out thier own cereal.  I don't mean you should give them free range over the cereal aisle in the grocery store, because they'll surely pick the one with the most sugar and highest cost.  Instead, offer three healthy choices like bran flakes, cheerios, and wheaties.  I've said this many times before, kids love choices, but it's up to the parents to offer guidance with those choices.
  2. Allow plenty of time for dawdling.  If you child gets up at 7:30 and must be at the bus stop by 8:15, that's not enough time for a healthy breakfast.  Get him up at 7:00.  If he balks, remind him that he'll need to go to bed even earlier if he can't get up in enough time to have breakfast and get out on time.  That should be enough motivation for any kid!
  3. Prepare her favorite breakfast in advance and freeze it.  If your child likes pancakes, but you don't have enough time to make them on a school day when you have to get out to work, too,  simply make them on the weekend, and then freeze them in portion sizes. Microwave them until they are warm and serve them with syrup and fruit.  I recommend whole wheat pancakes for a healthier breakfast.
  4. Get creative.  String cheerios on a yarn necklace.  Make yogurt or smoothies into frozen pops.  Kids don't always have to eat the same way every day, even though that's probably easiest for you.
  5. And here's more advice you've heard me give before - ask for the children's input.  Have a discussion about what you can do together so they will eat breakfast more regularly.  A start chart works for some while simply being allowed to determine what they will have for breakfast each day of the week on a calendar might work for another child. 
Happy parenting!

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