Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This applies to parents and children alike. I find that the mornings are super busy with three children three years of age and under so we need quick and easy breakfast options. I like to give my children the option between two equally nutritious breakfast choices. While they are deciding what they want and getting ready to eat I start making my breakfast.Once they have announced what they want I work on making that and finishing mine and then we all eat together. Eating as a family as often as possible supports both physical and mental health for all and keeps a family more connected. My husband and I like to chat with our children about what is coming in the day ahead and also model to them that we are sitting down to eat breakfast too.
Ideally, children (and adults) will have a breakfast with 2-3 food groups to ensure that they get the nutrients they need to start their day. A good breakfast helps toddlers handle their emotions better, helps children to focus better in the classroom and help adults make better food choices for the rest of the day. Having breakfast within an hour of waking up prevents us from crashing later in the day; therefore, resorting less to high sugar or high caffeine choices.
Typical week-day choices for breakfast in our house are:
1) low sugar whole grain cereal with milk and berries;
2) toast with peanut butter and banana;
3) Greek yogurt with granola and grapes; or
4) homemade muffin with cheese and apple slices
On the weekends we offer more elaborate choices such as pancakes, french toast, waffles, and scrambled eggs but I still offer fruit and milk or yogurt with these more exciting options.
Challenge to you: Aim to sit and eat breakfast with your children at least 4 times this week. Does it make a difference in your day? Does it make a difference in theirs?