Starting a breakfast tradition with your kids
Skipping breakfast can mean your children go 16 hours or more without eating anything. This lack of nutrition can leave them feeling sluggish, unfocused and irritable. Start a breakfast tradition with your kids by eating together every morning to get each day started off on the right foot.
Manage your morning
You need to get your kids to buy into the idea of eating a healthy breakfast every day, however, you also need to manage your morning routine so that your family actually has time for breakfast. You can begin preparing the night before. After clearing the table from dinner, ask your kids set the table for breakfast. Also, do anything you can the night before to make things easier in the morning -- slice the fruit, boil eggs, mix the juice or put the cereal boxes on the table.
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The most important aspect of establishing a family breakfast tradition is keep it consistent. Kids thrive on set routines. A sit-down family breakfast should become expected in your household -- not be an exception. If you make it a habit for kids to eat breakfast when they are young, they are more likely to do so for the rest of their lives.
Give kids some control
In addition to setting the table, children should be involved in the planning of weekly breakfast menus, including food selection, grocery shopping and meal preparation. Studies show that kids who help prepare and plan meals are more likely to eat those meals. When shopping together, teach your children about the importance of fiber, protein, calcium, iron and other nutrients. At breakfast, offer a couple food choices: strawberries or blueberries, oatmeal or grits, etc. This will help your children feel in control of what they are eating.
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Get a good night's rest
Make time for breakfast by going to bed a little bit earlier. This is particularly important for children who are always late in the morning or those who have trouble eating right after they wake up. Some kids just aren't hungry right away, so you need to give them a little extra time to wake up.
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Advantages of eating breakfast
Make sure your children understand the importance of breakfast. Kids who eat breakfast have many advantages over those who skip breakfast:
- Better overall nutrition and healthier body weight
- Better attention span and memory
- Better school attendance and test scores
- Better energy and mood
If you don't have a breakfast tradition with your kids, start one tomorrow. Don't wait for a new month or a new school year. Instead, begin as soon as possible so that your whole family can begin reaping the rewards of a daily breakfast routine.