The school morning routine can be chaos on a good day and a nightmare on a bad one. In between missing socks, empty lunch boxes and the week-old banana pasted to the bottom of the school bag, there isn’t a lot of time to cajole everyone into eating another mouth full of cereal or toast. If this sounds like your kitchen in the morning, then you’re not alone.
Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day as it replenishes the body’s glucose levels which means the body has energy and alertness to start the day. For school children, going without breakfast can make concentrating in class a struggle which can impact their entire day. A lot of breakfast cereals contain key nutrients such as folate, calcium, B vitamins and fibre which can contribute substantially to your child’s nutritional RDI. Adding some fresh fruit to cereal can be a great natural sweetener and adds some additional vitamins and fibre.
So, in theory, having your child eat a nutritious and balanced cereal for breakfast each day would be ideal but it’s often just not that easy. Fussy eaters can make the breakfast battle even tougher and finding nutritious foods that little pallets enjoy can sometimes seems impossible. In fact, you probably won’t be surprised to know that up to 50% of all toddlers refuse to eat a new food at least half the time. While fussy eating is likely to be at its worst from around 2 or 3 years old it generally improves by around 5.
Rather than make the breakfast bar a war zone, you might want to try mixing things up a bit with some of these ideas.
Collaborate – as a family on interesting (but not complicated) options for breakfast and if you are especially organised, get your kids to help with the preparation.
Meal prep – there are countless healthy muffin recipes that you can bake and freeze. A warm muffin on a cold winter morning can sometimes tempt even the fussiest eater. Frittatas and zucchini and egg slices are another healthy pre-prepared option that can be served hot or cold.
The breakfast smoothie – is a fast, healthy option especially if your child can’t seem to face food in the mornings. You can pack a smoothie with fruit, vegetables, milk and yoghurt for a delicious breakfast on the go. Even better, smoothies are a great way to add supplements to your child’s diet if you feel they aren’t getting everything they need from the foods they are eating. Probiotic powders and liquid vitamins can be added into smoothies during blending, and its likely your child wont even notice!
If you still feel like you are losing the breakfast battle – don’t give up – eventually almost all children become less fussy and more engaged eaters and you will eventually win the war.