I wouldn’t dream of sending my kids to school without breakfast, but sometimes when we are in a rush, it’s tough to make it a balanced breakfast. I wake them up at 7am, and they have to be out the door by 7:30. Exactly 30 minutes to get dressed, eat, and pack a lunch. If I haven’t gotten everything finished I do in the mornings, I’ll turn the TV on to distract the little one. This backfires on me though when the school age kids get distracted too. I’ve been known to shove them out the door with a piece of toast in hand they get to eat at the bus stop. Although I shouldn’t have to hover over them to make sure they are eating, going to school without breakfast leads to behavior problems, inability to concentrate, and lack of energy. Plus it’s a LONG morning when you don’t have anything to eat till noon.
According to the “American Dietetic Association Guide to Healthy Eating for Kids”, a good breakfast should:
- Contain 3 or more food groups
- Include high fiber foods like whole grains, produce, or beans.
- Be low in fat
- Be something they will eat! It does no good to have a balanced meal that they won’t eat.
Some of suggestions are:
- Yogurt, whole grain bagel, glass of OJ
- Whole grain toast with peanut butter, glass of milk.
- Whole grain bagel with jam, scrambled eggs, glass of OJ
- High fiber cereal, piece of fruit, glass of low-fat milk.
- Fruit smoothie with high fiber muffin.
- Oatmeal with milk and raisins.
- Whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk and sliced banana.
To be successful at getting your kids to eat before school: Keep it simple, eliminate distractions such as tv, wake up earlier, and engage the children in helping out.