Helping children develop the habit of eating breakfast is important. There are a lot of good reasons for eating breakfast.
• Breakfast gives children energy for the morning’s active play.
• Having breakfast helps your child learn better – at home, school or day care.
• Children who eat breakfast may have fewer discipline problems.
• Eating breakfast helps control the urge to nibble. Even if they eat breakfast, young children may need a small morning snack.
• Children who don’t eat breakfast may get morning stomachaches. These aches are usually hunger pains.
Make Breakfast a Success
Young children want to be like their parents. If you want your child to eat breakfast, eat breakfast with them. A reason many people do not eat breakfast is oversleeping or having a small amount of time. Here are some tips to help you make time for breakfast.
• Start making breakfast the night before by mixing juice, slicing fruit or making hard-cooked eggs.
• Go to bed earlier so you can get up earlier.
• Keep quick-to-fix breakfast foods in your kitchen.
Give your child time to wake up. Rushing causes frustration that may keep your child from eating breakfast. On mornings when you are not rushed, let your child help you prepare breakfast.
Non-Traditional, Easy Breakfast Ideas
Breakfast foods can be any food that is nutritious, even if the food is not a common breakfast food. If your family does not like traditional breakfast foods, consider items such as a peanut butter sandwich, grilled cheese sandwich or bean burrito.
Remember, any food can be a breakfast food as long as it is healthy! Choose foods that your family enjoys eating.
Reviewed by: Jenni Kinsey, MS, RD, LD & Hasina Rakotomanana, MS.
USDA.(2017) Nibbles for Health. Retrived from: https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/nibbles-health-nutrition-newsletters-parents-young-children
American Academy of Pediatrics (2014). Breakfast for Learning. Retrieved from: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Breakfast-for-Learning.aspx
Deana Hildebrand, PhD., RD,LD, Associate Professor & Extension Specialist
Christine Walters, RDN, LD, MS, Extension Program Assistant
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
Nutritional Sciences Department, Oklahoma State University