Getting everyone out the door can take over family mornings, but it is vastly important to make time for breakfast. Many parents say they find it difficult to get their children to eat a proper breakfast, but, whatever their age, all the research shows that a nutritious breakfast is an essential way to start the day.
Here are some ideas to help make breakfast a breeze in your house.
• Sit down and eat breakfast with your children. If you eat breakfast, your children are likely to do so too. Sit down with them for a few minutes and have your own breakfast. You will all benefit.
• Make sure they have had enough sleep. If your children seem too tired to eat, take a step back and look at their bedtime routine.
• Something small is better than nothing. Some children have very little appetite in the morning, but it is important to try to get them to eat something small.
• Don't insist on breakfast cereal. There are plenty of other options. Try yoghurt with some chopped fruit, or some toast with a chopped banana.
• Avoid arguments. A row or two over breakfast is not unusual when you factor in tiredness and time pressure. Giving children a choice of breakfast items might help avoid this so they feel they are in control. For example, between wheat biscuits and a flaked breakfast cereal, or between wholemeal bread and a wholemeal bagel.
• Include a drink. Water and milk are the best choices. Children under two should have full-fat milk. If you choose a smoothie or fruit juice opt for a small glass (150ml ) that is unsweetened.
Banana and oat smoothie recipe
This filling smoothie will keep you going all morning as well as giving you a healthy start to the day. It is a perfect option if you are keeping an eye on your waistline.
150ml / 5fl oz semi-skimmed milk
1 medium banana
3 tablespoons oats
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Drink and enjoy.
Try with a variety of fruit – strawberries, raspberries, pears, or peaches (tinned or fresh ) all work well. Use fruit yoghurt instead of milk for a thicker drink.