Breakfast has never been an easy meal in my house. Basically because I've got two polar opposites for kids: My daughter is one of those people who doesn't get hungry before 11 a.m. (like, doesn't even want to look at food) my son would happily eat a lumberjack-sized plate of bacon, eggs, and pancakes as soon as he wakes up.
(He's not the picky one.)
I've had to get creative when it comes to my daughter -- anything to get something in her stomach before school. Her tastes are always changing, so what works one week might not work the next, but the most important lesson I've learned about feeding a kid who's not a breakfast person?
Think beyond breakfast. It'll seem strange at first to be serving dinnertime foods at dawn, but you'll get used to it. Free your mind! Feed your breakfast-hater! The best part is, most of these ideas barely require any prep.
1. Cheese, whole grain crackers, and fruit. Does it get any easier? And it's actually a well-balanced meal: Protein, fiber, calcium, vitamins. Plus, the combinations are endless.
2. Energy-boosting smoothie. Smoothies are great when you're running late -- if worst comes to worst, pour it in a thermos and your kid can drink it on the way to school. This recipe, from Dr. Oz, calls for peanut butter, but if your child is allergic, replace the PB with sunflower seed butter or soy nut butter.
3. Macaroni & cheese. This has been a morning favorite with my daughter. Because we tend to be in a rush, I'm a big fan of the frozen organic kind you just have to pop in the microwave, but if you feel like getting ambitious, you can make it from scratch and freeze portions ahead of time.
4. Brown rice & tofu. Okay, this one might sound like something your kid would never, ever touch, but hear me out. Not only is this incredibly healthy, it seems to settle my daughter's tummy in the a.m. (maybe the starchy quality?). One tip: A few drops of tamari (soy sauce) make a plain old bowl of rice and tofu (get the packaged, prepared kind and cut it into squares) magically delicious.
5. Sunflower seed butter & jelly. Use whole-grain bread and sugar-free jam, and don't restrict yourself to sunflower seed butter (almond butter, cashew butter, or even hemp butter are nutritious alternatives to peanut butter). This is a surprisingly solid way to start the day!
Is it tough to get your kids to eat breakfast?
Image via Jason Toney/Flickr