How to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy Breakfast
They complain sometimes that they just aren't hungry. Other times, they just find it too much work and would rather sleep in. I know for a fact that one of my children is much like me; I can't eat right away...it takes me a few hours to really feel hungry.
They know I don't like when they do this though! So, they've been compromising (you know the older they get the harder it is to get them to do stuff lol). And so, I've worked hard to find out what makes them eat before school!
Here's what works for us:
Make sure they're waking up with enough time to eat a decent meal:
I am not a fan waking up as early as my high schoolers...not anymore, but, occasionally I will hop out of bed and make sure they are eating, reminding them of the varieties they can have as well as encouraging them to eat a bit more than they think they can.
Make things that are yummy and already cooked:
Chocolate chip banana bread, muffins, cinnamon bread, do scrambled eggs slightly undercooked with plenty of cheese for them to heat up in the microwave (the eggs will finish cooking in micro and avoid becoming dry), bacon, sausage to reheat. You can even cook up some French toast and some pancakes on a Sunday, throw them in the fridge and kids can pop them in the toaster or microwave.
Buy healthy ready to eat foods:
Yogurts, breakfast bars (not the ones with chocolate and a lot of sugars), oatmeals which only require hot water, bananas, breads, muffins.
Offer only healthy choices:
I buy my kids poptarts and Lucky Charms because they love them, but I only allow them to eat them on the weekends and/or on school vacation. Keep sugar to a minimum, keep healthy options to condition kids to grab the healthy later on in life out of habit.
Already have these washed and/or sliced the night before so they're ready to eat. Also try making fruit salads. Short on time yourself? Buy precut melon, watermelon, pineapple to throw in. Use my favorites (and theirs): strawberries, raspberries, blueberries.
Offer easy to eat fruits:
Apples, bananas, little Halos/clementines are extra sweet and the skins are so soft and fruit is small enough that littler kids can manage to peel the skin off. I put these in the middle of my kitchen table so that the kids see them often and can easily grab one. I know that some put them in the fridge, but this makes them 'out of sight, out of mind'.
Have a variety of healthy beverage options:
My kids panic when the milk runs out. I know this, so I buy approx. four gallons a week. I do not promote putting flavored syrups in the milk however. That is treated like a special treat after school and/or on the weekend. But, have orange juice, mango, pineapple, cranberry, apple, tomato, V-8 Splash (one of my children's favorites) and rotate these each week or so to change it up. Teach kids what the benefits of water are and show them they can heat it up with lemon and offer tea to your older kids. It's a healthy option to share.
I have a chalkboard in my kitchen the size of a door. If you have this option, or have another messaging place for a breakfast 'menu', do it. When I offer my kids a variety of options, they remember the things they can eat with what. It helps them think out of the box and it assists in healthier eating. I like cooking for my family, but NOT at 530am...
So this is a win win situation.
In addition, remind your kids that a glass of milk, peanut butter and a banana can add more sustenance to their bodies, than just plain toast itself. Try some of these ideas today!