Breakfast, The Most Important And, Possibly, The Most Challenging Meal
My daughter is not a breakfast eater. She likes something light like fruit and I am lucky if she throws in a piece of cheese while I'm yelling: "you need some protein!" Sometimes she even sneaks out of the house without anything.
When my daughter walks out the door without eating much, I think: it's okay -- just this once.
I know, tsk tsk me. I know how important breakfast is. I know that kids who eat breakfast do better in school, have better attention spans, mood control and everything else.
Psychologist Tony Volk said breakfast "is like putting money in people’s physical, mental and emotional banks. Not eating breakfast goes beyond the food itself – it can impact a child’s ability to concentrate which effects their grades, behaviour and ability to socialize.”
What I didn't know is how much teachers are involved in feeding kids breakfast. According to research sponsored by Nutella, three-quarters of teachers have given kids some food for breakfast. This statistic is in sharp contrast to the seven percent of moms who admit that their kids went to school without breakfast.
(Note, I am not advocating Nutella for breakfast, which it is not. It is more like a dessert and should be treated that way.)
There is a crisis over breakfast in this country. Many kids don't eat it because their parents can't afford it or the kids are home alone in the morning as their parents work. Breakfast programs in the schools are a start, but they are underfunded.
Because we don't have a national nutrition program in our schools, providing breakfasts can be a piecemeal effort. Breakfast Clubs of Canada is an organization that helps provide breakfasts to kids, Nutella is giving away money to groups that "champion" breakfast, sometimes small groups of parents get together and create breakfast clubs for kids in need.
What I have done with my 6-year-old is get creative. She doesn't really have a sweet tooth so the usual breakfast treats don't really do it for her. While her brothers are eating their oatmeal or yogurt and granola, she sometimes gets leftovers from dinner -- including pizza and fried rice. She has even eaten macaroni and cheese before 9 am.
I'm lucky that I have the time and the financial ability to be creative in the morning. Many do not.
Is breakfast a challenge at your house? What do your kids eat?
Want more chaos? Last year, I wrote about a woman live-streaming her labour and baby's birth on the Internet. It's almost a trend now.