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You’ve heard the old saying, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but when it comes to our kids, most don’t eat it.
According to an August 2017 study in the British Journal of Nutrition, only about one-third of kids eat breakfast every day, 17 percent never eat breakfast and the rest only eat breakfast a fews days a week.
If your kid doesn’t like to eat first thing in the morning, doesn’t have time for breakfast or doesn’t like what you’re serving, don’t give up.
Here, learn some simple strategies to get your kids to eat a healthy breakfast every day.
1. Make breakfast family time
If you’re rushed in the morning to get your kids out the door and they’re feeling the pressure, they may feel too anxious to eat breakfast.
Instead of stressing out, carve out enough time for breakfast, even if it means the beds don’t get made or the dishes are left in the sink.
You can also make breakfast an opportunity to spend some quality time as a family together, especially if you don’t eat dinner as a family.
Read a Bible verse, ask your kids what they’re grateful for, or talk about your plans for the weekend.
2. Don’t eat a late dinner
After-school activities can make it tough to eat dinner on time, but if your kids are eating dinner late, they may not be hungry for breakfast.
Try to feed your kids before you head out to activities and discourage after-dinner snacking so they’ll have an appetite come morning.
3. Do some easy meal prep
If there’s no time to make breakfast in the morning, make it ahead of time.
Set aside individual re-sealable bags of fruits and veggies for smoothies, make overnight oats or parfaits in mason jars, boil a batch of hard-boiled eggs, or make a frittata, egg casserole, or egg “muffins” at the beginning of the week or the night before.
4. Let them decide
Cereal and toast are easy options for breakfast but if your kid is more likely to eat leftovers for breakfast, then go with it.
Pair a protein with veggies or a piece of fruit, serve soup, or mix leftover rice with coconut milk, nuts, cinnamon and a drizzle of honey to break out of the breakfast rut.
Another way to give kids choices is to make something easy like oatmeal, and then let your kid choose the spices, nuts, seeds, and fresh or dried fruit.
5. Wake up earlier
Little kids are up early anyway, but if your kids are older and they like to sleep in until the last possible minute, they probably don’t eat breakfast because there’s no time.
An easy fix? Try moving their bedtime back a half an hour or so until they can wake up in time.
6. Take the lead
No surprise here, but only 47 percent of adults in the U.S. eat breakfast every day, according to a 2015 survey by Instantly.
Although you may think mornings are hectic enough, carving out time to eat a healthy breakfast may encourage your kids to do the same.
7. Serve a morning snack
If your kid isn’t a breakfast eater, stick to small bites.
Serve 4 or 6 ounces of a green smoothie, apple slices with almond butter, mini muffins, energy bites or raw vegetables with hummus.