Getting your kids to eat breakfast
Almost a week has gone by now that the kids are back in school and as I am sure you all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day for your kids, and you ;). Things can be crazy in the morning if you are trying to get yourself ready for work and your kids all ready for their day too and breakfast is often skipped because of this, or worse yet, a breakfast of sugary bars or cereals is fed to them. Getting the younger ones to eat doesn’t seem to be quite as much of a challenge as long as you give them something “secretly” healthy that still tastes like the unhealthy alternative but when you learn what makes the older ones tick I have learned that you can actually use that to your advantage to get them to eat breakfast ie. if they have a girl/boy they like teach them how a healthy breakfast will give them shinier hair or that it will make them stronger, grades will be better, they will be better in gym class etc. There are many ways to put a twist on why eating healthy and eating breakfast should be important to THEM. Here are some other basic tips for you to make this a bit of an easier thing for you and for your kids:
Sneaky Snacks- Prepare some delicious shakes with a variety of veggies and fruits some creamy greek yogurt with a little bit of real organic honey or a chunk of coconut butter (this stuff is really rich mmm) and maybe some almond butter or flax seeds. They will never know they are eating healthy and this will give them some good fats, nutrients, fiber, energy and protein. You can also try shredding different types of veggies and putting them in their favourite sandwiches, prepare their favourite foods with healthier ingredients and in healthier ways ie. don’t fry things, bake or grill them, instead of french fries, sweet potatoe fries baked and better yet make some baked veggie chips, try a variety of beans and mashed cauliflower instead of high glycemic white potatoes and if you need some recipes for quick meals with the healthy ingredient alternatives let me know and I can send you some 🙂 Also, plain and simple, don’t even keep the unhealthy food in the house. Remember you do have control over that and while you can’t control what happens outside of your home with their eating per se, you can help change their palette to not even want those poisonous foods.
Prepare their breakfast the night before- Whatever you decided to feed them for breakfast ie. a delicious omega-3 egg omelet with a variety of veggies, do it the night before and simply warm it in the am. This will save a ton of time in the morning and if the kids are old enough they can just pop it in the microwave (I don’t LIKE the use of microwaves or really recommend it but sometimes it is a must). Just as you prepare their lunches the night before, you should do the same for breakfast. Cut up some veggies and fruit and some Allegro cheese or have some hardboiled eggs ready for quick eats they can even grab and eat on the bus. You can even prepare a bunch of the breakfasts (see below) and keep them in the fridge/freezer and allow them to choose one of the prepared breakfasts as opposed to just letting them choose if they are going to eat breakfast or not :p
Keep things simple and get the kids involved- Most kids love to create and this allows them to create healthy meals with you that they know they will enjoy and have pride in because they took part. Make a list of healthy foods vs unhealthy foods and make it a game with them to see how many of the healthy foods they can put into or replace in their breakfast other than just having bread, bagels, muffins, cereals like most do. Keep the list short sweet and to the point and be sure to ask and include the healthier versions of their favourite foods allowing these as some options.
Even if the portions are smaller than what they really need, slowly get your kids into the habit of eating breakfast by adding a small bit of food a week at a time if they are not hungry in the morning and make a fun event. Get some cool breakfast dishes if you must or reward a weeks worth of healthy breakfast eating with some kind of fun weekend event.I have learned that even the most resistant kid will change and appreciate healthy habits and eating if you not only set the example but you teach them the why and how and get them involved instead of just doing it for them and telling them just because 🙂