Appetite in the dumps, head in the clouds, bad mood … It’s not always easy to get children to eat their breakfast. Nevertheless, it’s an essential meal to have before starting a good day full of learning and activities. Further, encouraging them to always have breakfast will get them into a good habit that they’ll keep up later in life. So here are a few tips to help meet the challenge, so your child doesn’t leave hungry.
Your child isn’t hungry at breakfast
First of all, if your children complain that they aren’t hungry, ask yourself: did they eat too much for dinner last night? Indeed, having too large a dinner can result in a lack of appetite in the morning. First try to reduce portion sizes and avoid dishes that are too rich. Also, try not to sit down to eat immediately upon awakening; spend some time preparing things first so that hunger starts to rear its head a little.
Another tip: even though they’re still young, children know what they like and what they want; so why not get them involved in choosing what they’ll have for breakfast? To achieve nutritional balance, design meals together with them, always remembering to include those three classes: fruit, a cereal grain, and a dairy product.
Keep in mind that at that age, tastes can change very quickly. If it seems like your kids are starting to make a face when it’s time to sit down and eat, it may be time to switch up the foods you’re serving, swapping out traditional cereal for whole wheat bread, white bread, or other types. Make the meal more fun by making little shapes or designs out of the food.
Patience is your ally in the morning, for victory over sour faces at breakfast
If your children are eternally sulky about breakfast, remember that even though that first meal of the day is important, it shouldn’t become a chore, and you don’t have to insist so much that they end up hating breakfast forever. Stay confident, be patient and try to explain in words or pictures they can understand the role of breakfast in getting the day started. Finally, set a good example by taking time to have breakfast as a family; that might help encourage them to want to eat.