Tips & tricks for breakfast time with kids.
Mornings can be stressful – getting everyone fed and out of the house on time for school, sports practice, work or any number of family activities or now managing a lockdown breakfast, any of these can be a mission. Throw in a few fussy eaters or a teen that can’t face food that early in the day and many parents are left tearing their hair out. We asked a few savvy mums for their tips for ensuring breakfast is less of a battlefield and more of a breeze!
- Get breakfast prepared before you go to bed. One parent we spoke to gets ingredients ready so her children can make their own smoothie bowls in the morning. Prepped ingredients, such as diced fresh fruit, with a squeeze of lemon to prevent browning, yoghurt etc, can be stored in containers in the fridge overnight. In the morning the children can build their own breakfast by adding the ingredients they choose to their favourite Te Atatu Toasted cereal. It’s a sanity saver as the time-pressured parent gets to do the messy preparation and clean up at a time of day that suits.
Take the pre-prepared idea further with Breakfasts in a Jar. These are a Te Atatu Toasted favourite – use the six recipes on our website to guide you as you make a delicious layered breakfast with all your favourite flavours that’s ready to eat in the morning. They are much healthier than the commercial grab-and-go breakfast drinks you buy at the supermarket.
- Limit children to a maximum of two choices at breakfast time to make it easier for them to pick a healthy option without an eternity of indecision. “The choice is, do you want bananas or peaches with your cereal. Or, do you want porridge or a smoothie,” one mum recommends. “If you offer three or more options, they seem to think anything they want is available and you find yourself in a lengthy debate with a four-year-old.”
- Put the children in charge of making their own breakfast as soon as they are old enough. There needs to be rules around what is considered an acceptable healthy breakfast but it takes the pressure off parents to do everything. Children who are too young to make breakfast can still help. “We have a routine that my daughter always sets and clears the table. This includes placemats, cutlery, plates, wooden boards if there's hot food, plus any condiments we might need.” This can be helpful when you are busy making breakfast or cleaning up afterwards.
- Fill your own tummy first, is a recommendation from another mum. “I eat breakfast before they wake up so I’m not feeling hangry while deciphering their sometimes-cryptic requests.”
- If you don’t mind a bit of mess, get the kids into fresh juicing. They will love using the juicer and you can head out the door knowing that no matter what they eat for the rest of the day, they’ve already had their five-plus servings of fruit and vegetables.
- Leftover dessert for breakfast is sure to be a hit and saves time in the morning. This Quick Blackberry and Apple Crumble is yummy cold and healthy enough to be used as a special treat breakfast.
- If you have a teenager who can’t face food first thing or would rather devote their morning to hair and make-up, have a few nutritious grab-and-go lighter options they can take with them to eat later in the morning. Check out this recipe for easy bliss balls made with Te Atatu Toasted cereal or turn our Everyday Muesli Slice or the Caramello Muesli Squares into a breakfast bar. Younger kids (and adults) will also love these as a breakfast alternative and they are great on those days you have an early morning meeting or a before-school sports practice. Breakfast muffins are another option – make sure you put in plenty of grated vegetables so they are full of fibre.
- Try our Coco Crunchies, great for kids of all ages, they contain just 4 ingredients and are way less sugar than many kids cereals, they also make great crackle pops
- Lastly, if things are getting a bit tense around the breakfast table, we think you should take advice from one of the mums who is a fan of Te Atatu Toasted. She cranks up the music in the morning to improve everyone’s mood. So kick-start everyone’s day with a one-minute dance party!