The following is #2 in a 5 part series on helping children become more adventurous eaters.
Ah, breakfast! The most important meal of the day, right?
If you are parenting a picky eater, it can also be the most stressful way to start the day.
Here are 5 strategies to begin the journey to trying new foods, even at breakfast:
- Limit Milk and Juice in the Morning. Juice provides a swift rise in blood sugar, thus decreasing hunger for the morning meal and resulting in a cranky kid mid-morning when sugar levels crash. Milk, though nutritious, is very filling and satiates little tummies quickly, leaving little room for anything else.
- Make it a Smoothie. If your child insists on something to drink, a smoothie, frozen or simply chilled, can be a power-packed, easy solution. While it might contain milk or juice, adding boosters such as chia seeds, plain Greek yogurt or a seed/nut butter will start their day right even if they forgo traditional breakfast. Or, try a Smoothie Ice Pop in the morning, made with your kiddo the night before. My favorite is from The Hopefull Company’s Bellyfull Kit, which includes pop molds that are PVC, BPA and Phthalate free. The kit comes with 20 “wipe-able” recipe cards perfect for little hands and bundled on a ring, each with a fun picture to encourage healthy eating plus the kit includes compost-able and biodegradable pop “handles” in case you need to take breakfast with you.
- Make Breakfast with Your Child the Night Before. It can be as simple as setting the table together with cereal boxes, an empty bowl for fruit from the refrigerator and a small pitcher to pour from in the morning. This changes your little one’s mindset so that they begin to understand that in the mornings, we all need something nourishing and substantial to get our bodies ready for the day.
- Eat Breakfast with Your Kids. Model the importance of fueling up for the day ahead. Studies show that kids have better concentration and energy after eating breakfast – something every parent needs too!
What strategies have you used to help your children enjoy a healthy breakfast? Do you worry about it, or not? Let us know, it’s helpful to hear your ideas!
Tomorrow’s post: Chicken nuggets again? I’ll offer strategies for kids who eat the same thing for lunch, day after day.