Four children’s breakfasts for four kinds of mornings
“Come on, just a few bites”, “You’ll be hungry later on”, “It will help you concentrate during the test”, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.
If these statements are routine every morning in your home too, you’ve come to the right place. We talked to Adi Efrati Rasuli, a clinical dietician who specializes in infant and toddler nutrition, to find out how to help you cope with a child who refuses to eat in the morning and learn how to easily prepare a nutritious breakfast even on the busiest of days.
Cut out and keep.
“He’ll be eating at kindergarten in a few minutes.”
Breakfast is important for toddlers because it is an excellent opportunity for the family to sit down together and for the child to be exposed to the variety of foods eaten in the home. Also, one should take into account that in most kindergartens, the children aren’t fed breakfast before 8:30 or even 9:30. Coupled with the fact that the toddler is often awake by 6:00, this makes for a lengthy fast after the night’s sleep, which is liable to impair his concentration and make it hard for him to be at his best at kindergarten.
“What if he refuses to eat in the morning?”
Don’t force him to. Set a personal example.
Who has the energy to fight first thing in the morning? If the child doesn’t want to eat, the best course of action is not to fight or try to persuade him. Sit down and have your breakfast and cup of brew, and make sure to put a cup of water on the table for him too. Next time, place a small meal in front of him, and you might just see him show an interest in eating. Even if you see that he hasn’t been won over and leaves the plate full, don’t give up, keep on eating yourself, and in this way you’ll create an environment that encourages the consumption of a healthy meal in the morning.
Four meals for four different mornings
Every morning we wake up a little differently, and of course, so do our kids. So why not diversify the morning meal?
Here are a few simple ideas that will surprise your children.
Ready? Let’s go.
- Meal for a chilly morning – porridge
(Preparation time: up to 10 minutes)
The porridge combines whole grains and white (refined) grains, is rich in vitamins, and the plus is that it’s light on the digestive system.
It’s very easy to prepare:
For each three tablespoons of cereal (oats/semolina (durum or white)/teff flour), add 1⅓ cups of liquid (water or cow’s milk – for children of over 1 year old).
Preparation is quick and requires just a few minutes of keeping an eye on the pot. You can add cinnamon to taste and enrich the porridge with almond spread.
- Express porridge with a twist
(Preparation time: up to 15 minutes)
- The night before, cook a little quinoa or rice according to the instructions on the pack.
- In the morning, take 3-4 tablespoons of the cooked quinoa/rice and add about ¾ cup liquid.
- Cook over a low flame while stirring.
- Season with cinnamon or add a little grated fruit.
- Quick breakfast – Gamadim fruit flavored cheese
(Preparation time: up to 3 minutes)
For those mornings when the clock is racing faster than usual or you’re simply in a rush: a dairy product that contains protein and minerals, enriched with a “little something” to supplement the meal. Use sugar-free or low-sugar products like Gamadim cheese for children, which is based on white cheese and contains Vitamins A, D, iron and zinc that are essential for growth.
Add any of the following for variety on different days:
- Gamadim fruit salad – a serving of Gamadim + sliced fruit
- Gamadim porridge – a serving of Gamadim mixed with 1 teaspoon ground oats
- Gamadim muesli – a serving of Gamadim with puffed rice cereal with no added sugar or salt
- When there’s time to spare – French toast
(Preparation time: up to 20 minutes)
Everything went smoothly, the children chose their clothes in a minute and your early morning meeting was pushed back – congratulations, you have time to make a real breakfast: French toast with sliced vegetables and cheese on the side.
Don’t forget the vegetables!
Fresh vegetables are important in the early stages of life to assure an adequate supply of vitamins and to establish healthy eating habits. Take advantage of every opportunity to offer a broad variety of colors and shapes. Remember that establishing the habit of heating vegetables may take time, and don’t worry if your child mostly “plays” with them.
The experience is important, and we therefore recommend that you keep on offering veggies and including them in meals.
Breakfast ensures a good start to your children’s day, and yes, to yours as well.
Try and stick to the breakfast ritual and make sure to start when the children are still young. Even if all you have is 5 minutes, it will pay off in the end.