Let’s face it. A lot of children don’t like going to school. Some love it… but truthfully, they’re the exception.
The fall term is in full swing and our little guy is having a few adjustment challenges. Getting up early is merely the tip of the iceberg. Toss in school preparation and eating breakfast when he’s not yet hungry and the morning routine can quickly turn sour.
I get it. My tummy is not quite ready for a meal first thing in the morning either. Sure, we’ve all heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day and not to be skipped. But is it a good thing to force food intake when your body is not ready for it? Logically and intuitively, I doubt it.
Now, don’t get me wrong… I am not condoning allowing your little one(s) to skip breakfast. Sitting at the breakfast table (or nook if you have one) is an important part of the morning routine. In many ways, breakfast time is that calm peace-break before launching into the fullness of the day.
May I suggest a few simple and creative ideas? I guarantee these creative gems will spark new life in your morning routine. And your little ones will soon look forward to your new ritual everyday.
# 1 Fun & Nutritious Breakfast Delight:
Just like Musical Chairs, all family members joining at the table for breakfast will walk around the table until Mom (or Dad) stops singing or playing music. Or simply say ‘STOP’.
At each setting place a different breakfast option – either covered for a surprise effect or not covered. For picky eaters, keep the breakfast servings small.
Each place setting has one of your special creative touches to delight your loved one’s visual sense.
- a pretty placemat with a matching napkin and umbrella toothpick in the juice glass
- a pretty flower freshly picked from your garden
- colourful plastic utensils
- a couple of crayons and a drawing pad etc …
Use your creativity and make each place setting fun.
Give your family members the option to trade breakfasts if they prefer to.
Always keep an extra dish of food with all the options in the middle of the table so nobody feels left out.
#2 Fun & Nutritious Breakfast Delight:
Every day of the week, pick a different culture or country to create a fun food-fare. This is where you can do research and have fun learning about cultures and their breakfast traditions. Google is the best place to start.
A culture-of-the-day theme may be simply achieved. For example:
- Monday can be your French theme. Purchase mini croissants from the grocery store. Serve them with a dish of cheese, a bowl of grapes and a couple of different preserves. Oh! And don’t forget the fancy Cafe Au Lait cups! (Even juice or milk can be sipped in these fancy cups).
- Tuesday can be British fare. Serve warm scones from the oven and place tiny bowls of clotted cream (or rich whipped butter) and jams on the table. Don’t forget the china tea cups!
- Wednesday can be Japanese or Chinese breakfast. Serve dumplings and dragon fruit or lychee fruit for example. Or how about instant Chinese noodles? Kids LOVE them! I bet you can find a set of Chinese tea cups at your local dollar store.
- Thursday can be a Middle-eastern theme. Serve pita bread wedges and hummus. You may consider a dish with cucumber slices and olives if your children like them. Or, for a treat, serve a tray of mixed Baklava and tiny espresso cups for a drink of their choice.
… by now I’m sure your creative juices are flowing so I will leave the rest of the week to you.
#3 Fun & Nutritious Breakfast Delight:
Pick a Prize
Offer a prize to the individual who finishes up ALL their breakfast. And there’s no rush to be first – we don’t want this to be a race.
Again .. dollar store! Fill a pretty bag or basket with fun gifts from your local dollar store and keep it in a safe spot only to be accessed by you. What kid doesn’t want a prize?!
#4 Fun & Nutritious Breakfast Delight:
Fruit Bowl Fun
Specifically for picky eaters, this is a fun and low-stress breakfast option.
One day, after school, ask your child(ren) to help you paint some different fruit bowls. (You read my mind – “Dollar Store”!)
Some days, a fruit breakfast (and only fruit) is perfectly okay. Fruit is a carbohydrate and that means energy. The kids get their snack break at school mid-morning so don’t worry. They won’t go hungry.
Fill your pretty painted fruit bowls with many types of fruit. They will notice the bowl immediately with a sense of pride because it is partly their creation.
If you’re able to, buy exotic fruits. Something the family has never tried before. Have fun checking out the produce aisle at your local grocer and try something new.
As a mom, I learned quick how exciting fruits and vegetables truly are to children. Remember, their taste buds are more sensitive than our adult buds. So the sweetness of fresh fruit is delicious and satisfying to our youngsters.
#5 Fun & Nutritious Breakfast Delight
Strange but True
In the spirit of gaining independence, allow your children to make their own breakfast at least once per week. Even your JK’ers and SK’ers can participate and do it well. For many of us working moms this sounds to good to be true.
The trick is friends to not make it a chore. And honestly, what better way to peak a child’s interest but with the strange and wonderful. Ever seen Mr. Magorium’s Magical Emporium?
Here’s an idea or two:
- a buffet table or some kind of spread with candy (fruit flavoured or dark chocolate), marshmallows and fresh fruit (allow 1 or 2 of each); or
- different chips (corn, tortilla or potato), granola cereals and freshly popped popcorn; or
- pop tarts, waffles and bagels WITH their very own toaster to use (and to my anxious mom-friends – stop worrying, kids are more cautious than we realize).
Or think of your own strange but true breakfast delight and try it. Have excitement around breakfast time and watch your children’s morning grumps turn into smiles. They’ll have a better day and so will you!