Thursday, October 7, 2010

Make Breakfast Count, for Less

My almost two-year old and, to some extent, my three-year old aren't great eaters. (I mean, they are if we're talking about candy and sweets, but obviously they can't eat that all day.) They don't eat much at lunch, and my youngest hardly touches his dinner. Yes, it usually stresses me out a bit, but I have learned a survival strategy:

Make breakfast count.

You see, if my boys don't eat much at dinner, they will be starving in the morning. They will be so hungry that they will eat whatever is set before them with gladness. This is not the time to serve Lucky Charms or toaster strudels (we don't eat those anyway). Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, eggs and whole wheat toast, and other nourishing foods packed with vitamins, minerals and healthy calories.

Here are some other breakfast ideas that are healthy and filling and won't break the bank:

  • Whole-wheat pancakes or waffles
  • Crepes (you can even fill them with a bit of cottage cheese and top them with a triple berry blend, found in the freezer section this time of year)
  • Biscuits 
  • Granola
  • Eggs (scrambled, boiled, or fried) and toast with oranges or another fruit
  • Blueberry muffins, or this time of year, pumpkin
  • Baked oatmeal
  • Coco-Wheats (we like to put a spoonful of peanut butter in each bowl and swirl it in with extra milk...yum!)
  • Smoothies with yogurt and fruit, toast

My childhood piano teacher and her husband grew up in Germany and Switzerland, respectively. She served oatmeal to her children every single day. While every day may be a bit much, her children ate it without complaint (as far as I know), because 1) they were hungry, 2) it's all they knew, and 3) they probably developed a taste for it. 

If you struggle with picky eaters at your house, my best advice is to make breakfast really count. Serve healthy foods, and even if children complain a bit, hang in there. Especially if they didn't eat great at dinner, they will be hungry and they will eat what you have made them.

For more information on feeding small children, see my series here, here, here.

What are your favorite healthy breakfast ideas?

1 comment:

  1. Such a good attitude. It scares me what they try to sell to children for breakfast these days! I discovered huevos rancheros on my honeymoon and I think a healthy version of that can be delicious - wholewheat tortillas, home-made salsa, beans and eggs. Yum!