If you want to know how to get your child to eat breakfast before school. Then this article has the answer.
The brain needs a steady supply of nutrients to understand and remember information. In other words the brain needs to be well fed in order to learn.
Unfortunately however a large number of children go to school without breakfast.
There are 5 main reasons why children don’t eat breakfast
- Children wake up late. When children wake up late and too close to the time when they have to leave for school – they usually find themselves in the midst of parental panic and stress. They are rushed through their morning routines and literally pushed into school at the last-minute. As adults we may think that children are blissfully unaware of our stress but that is a mistaken assumption. Children soak up our stress likes sponges and that is what causes them to lose their appetites for breakfast.
What should parents do – Put your child to bed early so that he can wake up early. Ensure that both you and your child have enough time to go through the morning routine – including breakfast at a leisurely pace
- Children do not empty their bowels before they leave for school. One of the reasons children are not hungry for breakfast in the morning is that they haven’t had a chance to use the washroom and empty out the contents of the previous day. A child needs to empty his bowels at least 15 – 30 minutes before breakfast to ensure that there is space in the gut for more food which is then interpreted as hunger
What parents should do – Ensure that your child wakes up with enough time in hand to use the washroom to move his bowels and empty them before breakfast. Bowel movements are a reflexive action and children will feel the urge to move their bowels every morning only when they are consistently encouraged by their parents to do that every day.
- Children are served elaborate breakfasts that are difficult to eat quickly. Mornings are always rushed and children feel the stress of the rush as much as we do. In the midst of the pressure to do several things in very little time – when we serve breakfasts that have several components that need to be eaten it often seems like a very difficult task to children and causes further stress and loss of appetite
What parents should do– Serve a wholesome breakfast that can be quickly eaten in a few bites. Breakfast for children should be planned in advance and put together such that several nutrients can be combined together in a single small dish that does not require too much chewing.
- Children are served breakfasts that are unappealing and very large. For a small child – a regular paratha or a dosa is huge. Children like food that is bite sized
What parents should do – Serve food that is bite sized. Serve the food on tooth picks or skewer sticks to make it interesting. Add some colour to the serving with the help of fruits or vegetables.
- Children are fed breakfasts alone and have to eat by themselves In most households – children leave for school much before their parents leave for work. As a result – children often have to eat breakfast by themselves. They have to eat in a hurry – often amidst yelling from their parents to eat faster. This is certainly not the most conducive of environments and it stresses children out and makes them lose their appetites.
What parents should do – Plan breakfast such that the whole family can sit and eat at the same time. Try to remain in a good mood and eat cheerfully and enthusiastically at breakfast. When children watch their parents eat and relish their food – they are likely to feel hungry too.