When your child won’t eat breakfast, it can be very hard for you to send them off to school. You feel bad knowing that they will be hungry, but you can’t force feed them, so what do you do?
There are many different things that you can try. Today we are going to dive into some new options for your child, in the hopes that tomorrow you can send him off with a full belly!
When Your Child Won’t Eat Breakfast
- Try breakfast on a stick.
- If he rides to school, let him have breakfast balls in the car. Our kids always eat more in the car. Maybe they get distracted (or bored), but whatever the reason, they eat more.
- Some kids would rather just drink in the morning, instead of eating. Our daughter drinks a carnation instant breakfast every morning. I had to check with our doctor and she said that it was fine and was similar to Pediasure. She said that it was the same as having a pedisure and to try to make up for it with lunch and dinner.
- Offer a smoothie in the morning.
- “Prepare breakfast, informing my son ‘breakfast is ready only once,’ sitting down to eat and enjoy my own breakfast. Without saying repeatedly ‘come and eat your breakfast,’ it allowed my son to choose. If he didn’t eat he went to school hungry. The good part was on the second day he sat down to breakfast without my nagging. Sometimes the constant nagging battle ends up in ‘no is going to win.’ You might think I was submitting to my son; instead I left him with the choice to eat or not, no more battles, no more nagging, no more anxiety and stress.” ~Sheila Ross
- “Sometimes children, like adults, simply go through a phase of not being hungry in the morning. Just avoid the conflict because that hour is precious. If you really can’t let it go then maybe get a box of chocolately cereal and mix a spoonful of it in with the healthy breakfast. Just remember you are choosing to have this battle every morning, so it is also your choice to just let it go. Yelling in the morning obviously isn’t achieving anything and your child still won’t eat and you’ll end up stressed.” ~Ursula Noonan
- “I give him a snack at home before school and about 40% of the time he eats it, usually if he didn’t have much for dinner. So, I let him pack the snack for the car and he usually eats it for an afternoon snack. Then, he eats breakfast about an hour later. Some kids just aren’t breakfast eaters or need lots of time to wake up. He will eat when he is hungry.” ~Shannon Morris
- If he goes to school talk to the teacher and see if he can have an AM snack.
- “I usually make my son pick his breakfast before bed. That way there are no ‘surprises’ and fight. If your son changes his mind and decides he doesn’t want the breakfast you fix, have something quick on hand you can take in the car if need be. We always have bananas, apples, pop-tarts, granola bars, and juice boxes for those days.” ~Misty White
- Try just a banana. Something about it is so easy for them – it isn’t too flavorful, so they don’t mind it.
- Once we let our kids watch a show in the morning, they started eating while they watched. I’m sure it was mindless eating, but I felt better about sending them to school.
- “A very wise pediatrician told me many years ago, ‘Your job is to put the food in front of them and it is their job to eat it. If they don’t eat now, they will later, but don’t battle over it.’ I took her advice. It was hard not to push them to eat, but in the long run it worked for my kids.” ~ Julie Montelone
- Can they eat breakfast at school? It would be about an hour later, so maybe your child would be hungry by then.
- “You (the parent) chooses the what (food) and the where, the child chooses the ‘if’ and ‘how much.’ No struggles. The child will eat when they are hungry. In between meals, just give water and what ever YOU choose until the next meal time. If you remember this and live by it, your battles will be over.” ~Lisa Needham
- Try offering non-breakfast foods. A friend of mine would eat a pepperoni sandwich every morning when we were in school.
- Can you wake your child up any earlier to extend the morning routine?
- Talk to your child about why they don’t want to eat. Are they just not hungry? Does the morning make them nervous (thinking about school)?
- Try a glass of juice. If that is taken well, you could try juicing in the mornings. We love to make our own juice!
- Make breakfast cookies! Your kids will think that it is a treat and they will probably eat them.
Study after study has shown that children perform better when they have eaten their breakfast. It is worth trying some new things before ‘throwing in the towel.’ With that being said, you can’t force a child to eat, so make up for it with a healthy lunch and snacks. You can find great recipes and kid-friendly foods on our Facebook page.