Many experts call breakfast the most important meal of the day, but some children would rather just skip it. However, breakfast has several benefits for kids. Studies like this one suggest that kids who eat breakfast habitually perform better in school and may have fewer behavior issues.
Eating breakfast is also associated with several positive health outcomes. Therefore, it’s important to find a way to get your kids to eat even a small, healthy breakfast each morning. If you’re thinking “My kids won’t eat breakfast,” here are some ideas to help get them excited for the first meal of the day.
Allow Plenty of Time for Breakfast with Kids
A little extra time can make a big difference for parents struggling with how to get kids to eat breakfast. If mornings are rushed in your house, it’s possible that your kids won’t have enough time to wake up and feel hungry, making them want to skip breakfast.
Simply adjusting your morning routine so breakfast is the last order of business before heading out the door may help. Or, consider getting your kids up just a few minutes earlier. If setting an early alarm is easier said than done, a last resort is to try sending a low-sugar granola bar with your child to eat before classes start instead.
How to Get Kids to Eat Breakfast? Keep it Light
Children who skip breakfast probably don’t feel hungry in the morning. When we sleep, our metabolism slows down and sometimes doesn’t catch up in the morning until we give it some fuel. If you child isn’t usually hungry in the morning, a large meal isn’t going to sound appetizing until they get used to eating breakfast as part of their routine.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of small, healthy options that make for the best breakfast with kids. Smoothies are great for kids who can’t tolerate a more filling breakfast. They’re also perfect on-the-go if your morning is rushed.
A granola bar is another healthy breakfast for kids that’s portable. It’s a great option for children who usually skip breakfast. Or, try simple combinations like low-sugar yogurt with fruit, or a slice of toast with nut butter or avocado. Even a simple banana with nut butter will suffice as a healthy breakfast for kids.
Remember to keep the mood light! Don’t get frustrated and dwell on the thought that “my kids won’t eat breakfast” when you’re trying to get your kids to get into the routine. Avoid pressuring your kids to eat. Instead, make the food more appealing by serving it up like a funny face or shapes.
Give Kids a Say When Choosing a Healthy Breakfast
Giving children a say in what they’re eating is effective for many mealtime troubles and can help address the problem of how to get kids to eat breakfast. When you’re planning your grocery list each week, ask your child if anything sounds good for breakfast.
Even better, take them to the store with you. Let them explore healthy breakfast foods for kids that may sound appetizing in the morning. Then, try to make it a habit each night to ask your child what they would like for breakfast the following morning. Simply getting your child to think about what they are going to eat may help to ramp up their appetite the following morning.
It’s possible that your child needs something more interesting to spark their appetite in the morning. If you’re out of ideas for how to get your kids to eat a healthy breakfast or just prefer a convenient yet wholesome solution, try some of our breakfast options.
The cheesy eggs and crispy hash browns make our Egg-Cellent Choice! a fan favorite that is both filling and healthy. For a more exotic yet still healthy breakfast for kids, our Breakfast Enchilada is an exciting option for little taste buds that provides a healthy dose of protein and fiber. Both options come ready-to-eat, making them the perfect option on even the busiest of mornings.
The best breakfast for kids doesn’t have to be what you may think of as typical breakfast food. If your child isn’t interested in breakfast food in the morning but is willing to eat a few crackers with nut butter or some trail mix, that is perfectly fine. In the morning, even just a little nutrition goes a long way. Once your child is in the habit of eating in the morning, they will likely be open to eating a variety of foods.
Participation is Key to Getting Kids to Eat
Remember, our children learn from our behavior. Children who skip breakfast may have learned the habit from their elders. If parents skip breakfast, their children are more likely to skip breakfast, too.
Plan some time in your morning routine to sit down with your child for breakfast. Meal time routines encourage healthy eating habits, and your kids will learn from you. Plus, having a little time together in the morning will decrease morning stress and give you a chance to chat with your child before a busy day.
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