Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Toddler's Nutrition - Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You do eat breakfast, right? It's especially important for kids to eat breakfast.

I will be the first to admit that I love breakfast. Not just the time of day, but also breakfast foods. However, when it comes to what we eat for breakfast every morning, I love "the usual." I love eating the same thing every morning; it's just part of my routine. And because I eat the same thing, that means that Ladybug (2 years old) does too.

When I read other blogs and see the variety that some parents put into their kids' breakfasts, I worry. I wondered if feeding Ladybug the same thing every morning was detrimental. Would she grow to despise my "usual?" Would this cause her to be a picky eater?

I took an informal survey on Twitter (would you expect anything else from me?). Of the adults who eat breakfast, I was surprised to learn that most have one or two favorite breakfast foods that they eat on a regular basis. There were several who commented that they don't eat breakfast. Seriously? I did mention that it's the most important meal of the day, right?

I also asked childhood obesity doc Joanna Dolgoff, and she said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" So I feel much better about feeding Ladybug the same breakfast most of the time. And what is this favorite breakfast of mine? Oatmeal!

We share a large serving of old fashioned oats flavored with cinnamon and unsweetened applesauce. I usually add a tablespoon or two of ground flax meal for the extra nutrition that it provides. With the oatmeal, we also eat some sort of fruit. If it's dried fruit, I'll cook that in with the oatmeal. Or fresh fruit either mixed in the oatmeal or on the side. Lately we have enjoyed bananas, apples, peaches, and blueberries.

I find that the oatmeal is filling, which is important since we eat around 7 am. Why so early? Because Ladybug is an early bird and is awake most days by 6 am.

Occasionally, we'll have dry cold cereal (Cheerios or homemade granola) with fruit. Or if I am feeling especially ambitious in the morning, I'll make a double batch of whole wheat applesauce waffles, which are tasty by themselves and don't need the syrup. Then we'll have leftovers for snacks or to freeze.

For those of you with older kids, do they like to eat the same thing every day? If they like sugary cereal or (gasp!) poptarts, how do you sneak some good nutrition into their morning? (I admit, I am a recovering poptart addict.)

For more great posts about kids and food, visit Feels Like Home for the Grace's Kitchen Friends carnival.

Read more in this continuing series on My Toddler's Nutrition here.


  1. My Girlie used to eat a sliced banana, about 12 mini-wheats in skim milk, and one Nutri-Grain bar. Lately, though, she's been loving the FiberOne bars (MY FiberOne bars!!) and skim half-strength chocolate milk. I love that she's getting the fiber, but we need to switch things up a bit. I think as the weather gets cooler, we may try oatmeal.

  2. My 1yo eats a banana and graham crackers or a TLC cereal bar every morning for breakfast. And he's okay with that!
    My 4yo alternates between wanting oatmeal, cereal (the healthy kind like granola), or yogurt with fruit.
    I don't eat breakfast.