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Monday, April 4, 2011

School Bell: Breakfast Cereal Tip

Do you have trouble getting breakfast into your kids before they run out the door for school?  I haven't found a perfect solution, but I have a couple of tricks that have helped at my house.  Today, a tip for the dry cereal eaters.

As part of the bedtime routine, I have each child pick out what cereal they want for breakfast the next day.  Each child pours their cereal of choice into one of the sealable food storage bowls*, individual size.  [This keeps the cereal from getting stale overnight, or attracting pets etc.] They set out a spoon, bowl, glass at their table place and place the storage bowl inside the cereal bowl.

On a normal morning, they are all ready to pour the cereal into the bowl add milk and eat. It goes MUCH faster without having to get everything out or make a cereal choice. [My kiddoes sometimes are incapable of making the smallest decision in the morning.] Bonus: Kids can mix cereals, for fun or to use up the odds and ends.

As soon as I get up I try to lay out the milk and some fruit all ready cut for them to add individually. If they oversleep or are running late they can eat it right from the storage bowl. If really late, they just grab the storage bowl and/or fruit baggie to finger nibble while walking to school, on the bus if allowed, or at snack during school.

* Saving money and going green: Yes you could use prepackaged single servings, but they are $$. You can use baggies but food storage bowls are reusable, don't squish the fruit, and you can add milk without needing a bowl.

All the research shows that school progress and attention is more likely if children have had breakfast before school. So anything we can do to make breakfast easier is a way to make their studying easier. I explained that to my kiddoes [often!] and with those who said they were "too old to need breakfast" I offered a slightly bizarre deal.  Any morning you go along and eat breakfast before school I will give you a choice of 5 minutes less required homework time, or 5 minutes extra help with homework. It worked, and eventually they learned for themselves that they were more energetic and alert on the mornings they ate.

What are your favorite breakfast tricks?

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