We all know the importance of eating breakfast. That has been drilled in to us pretty heavily by now. However, I also know that I, for one, can very easily fall back in to my non-breakfast eating ways if I’m not careful.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’m huge—HUGE on leading by example. Especially when it comes to my daughter. Unfortunately, even the best of intentions, and the constant leading by example can be challenged as your kids get older and develop more of their own ‘voice’.

Gone are the days of mickey mouse pancakes. I miss the days of Ants on a Log being Ants on a Log.

Now it’s just celery and PB with raisins. 🙁 Back in the good old days, Mickey Mouse and Ants on a Log would get the child excited about breakfast, now there’s no fooling the child who is almost 11 going on 20.

When she tells me she’s not hungry in the morning, I can’t argue it. I’m not hungry either! And nagging about breakfast being the most important meal of the day—well, that’s something she’s heard before. She could probably recite my breakfast “stump speech” for me these days.

I remember when I was younger. My mom would bring breakfast to my bed room – protein shakes, eggs, etc. I was so annoyed by that because I didn’t want to eat anything. This was middle school. When I went back home for high school (after boarding school), I always looked forward to my mom waking up in the AM and making me breakfast – and I could ALWAYS rely on her!! Every morning, my little “french toast” creation – She is the best person ever, and I love her. She helped me so much. – This sounds weird, but it’s because I was going through the transition to gluten, dairy, wheat, sugar, nut & fruit free — that was tough!

So how do I manage to get the child to eat breakfast in the mornings? Here’s some tips that have worked for me:

Consider it Morning Family Time – I’ve found this to be not only beneficial from an eating breakfast standpoint, but from a family standpoint as well. Waking Kelly up just a few minutes earlier to have her come, sit down, chat, and get a game plan together for the day has really allowed us some quality time before the day gets going and craziness takes over. And it has become second nature that while we have coffee and eggs, she slurps up some applesauce, or eats a banana and drinks some milk.

Tweens Still Like “Fun” Breakfasts, Just More of the “Big Kid” Variety – Kelly likes to feel all mature, and yuppy like. 😉 So I’ve found that sipping on a smoothie or perhaps yogurt parfaits are more her style these days.

Have Their Favorite Breakfast Foods Always on Hand – This is where compromise needs to take place at times for me. While I prefer a breakfast of oats & eggs, Kelly would prefer to have Frosted Mini Wheat’s, or Go-Go Squeeze, or Fiber One bars.  While I’m not a huge fan of these options, it sure as heck beats not eating anything at all. Plus, they are good ‘on the go’ for the days I can’t get her out of bed early.

Parents – Do you have trouble getting your tweens to have breakfast? What’s worked for you?