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Our Blog: February 20, 2014

Got Breakfast? 4 Tips for Busy Families

Got Breakfast? 4 Tips for Busy FamiliesEat your breakfast!


We’ve heard it over and over – breakfast is important. Brains need fuel to work properly. If your little one is like mine, though, breakfast is the last thing on her mind in the morning. She might ask for juice, but she’d rather wait until snack time at school to eat. When you add that to the morning madness of getting everyone dressed and out the door, sometimes it’s just easier to skip breakfast altogether.


But a hungry brain is a crabby brain, and a crabby brain doesn’t learn (or behave) very well. So we made a decision to emphasize Family Breakfast Time – even on school days. Here’s how we ensure the kids get out the door with a healthy breakfast:

  • Schedule Sleep Success. Sleepy kids don’t want to eat. Some kiddos need more time than others to wake up and get going, too. To make sure you’re ALL getting enough shut-eye, dedicate yourself to an earlier bedtime. Push bedtime back by 5 minutes each night until everyone’s getting enough sleep, then awaken everyone early enough so there’s ample time to eat. That way, little bodies have enough time to wake up and start to feel hungry.
  • Forget Fancy Foods. Prep foods that are quick and healthy – nothing fancy required. A banana and a cup of oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon, and milk works great. Or serve peanut butter on whole wheat toast, plus what we call “kids’ tea” (warm, decaf tea with a bit of honey). Aim for protein, whole grains, and minimal sugar – and keep it simple.
  • Nix the Rush. The main reason families skip breakfast is because we’re in such a rush. Simplify your morning routine by doing an evening prep time the night before. That creates time for your Family Breakfast. You’ll ALL start out the day better.
  • Sit and Share. Model the importance of breakfast by sitting down together every morning and connecting with each other before going off in your separate directions. At our breakfast table, we talk about the dreams we had overnight, and discuss our plans and goals for the day.

The breakfast ritual is a wonderful way of connecting with each other before the bustle of the day gets going  – AND for sending your child to school with a brain that’s primed to learn!

What’s your family’s breakfast ritual? Please share in the comments below!


About the Author

Dr. Heather Wittenberg

Dr. Wittenberg is a psychologist specializing in the development of babies, toddlers, preschoolers — and parents. She offers no-hype, practical parenting advice on her blog BabyShrink — rooted in science, and road tested in her own home as the mother of four young children. She has helped thousands of parents over the years and knows that the most common problems with young children — sleep, feeding, potty training and behavior — can be the most difficult ones to solve.