If you have trouble getting your kid to eat breakfast, you’re not alone, but you have reason for concern. Studies have consistently shown that eating breakfast helps kids maintain a healthy body weight, perform better at school and have fewer discipline and attention problems.
Here are a few options for getting a morning meal into your reluctant breakfast eater.
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Cheese sticks are super quick and easy as well as nutritious, plus they’re mess-free and a breeze to eat on the go. They’ll also keep long enough for your child to tuck into her backpack and nibble on during the school bus ride. You can usually find store brand cheese sticks at a reasonable price, but even brand names carry reasonable price tags at Walmart or BJ’s. My favorite brands include Weight Watchers mozzarella sticks and Sargento’s colby jack sticks.
Try fat-free or low-fat yogurt for another yummy and filling breakfast. With so many brands and flavors, your little ones have many choices to try, and you shouldn’t have trouble snagging it at good prices. Yogurt often goes on sale, or you can pick up store brands at every-day low prices. Kroger and Trader Joe’s have particularly good store-brand yogurt and excellent selections of flavors.
Trader Joe’s house brand yogurt varieties include nonfat Greek yogurt for 99 cents a carton in flavors such as honey, pomegranate, vanilla bean and mango. Trader Joe’s also sells whole milk and dairy-free yogurt choices.
Kroger’s store brand selection of “Carbmaster” yogurt flavors include white chocolate, carrot cake, strawberry cake, spiced pear, vanilla chai and banana cream. Kroger’s “light” yogurts include coconut cream, French apple, rapsberry acai and pink grapefruit.
Among brand name yogurt options, Yoplait Light comes in Boston creme, orange creme, strawberry shortcake, pineapple upside down cake, raspberry cheesecake, raspberry lemonade and key lime pie, among many other flavors.
Carnation Breakfast Essentials
Carnation Breakfast Essentials (a.k.a. Carnation Instant Breakfast) may look like glorified chocolate milk, but it contains plenty of nutrition while remaining a tasty treat for kids. You can mix it with skim milk, 2 percent milk or even soy milk.
You can even buy it pre-mixed or in the form of chocolate breakfast bars for meals on-the-go. On cold days, warm up some milk before mixing in a packet of Carnation Breakfast Essentials. In addition to chocolate, the product comes in strawberry and vanilla flavors, and you can find it at most grocery stores.
Instant oatmeal comes in so many different flavor options that most youngsters can find one that appeals to them. You can also make your own variety by microwaving a bowl of plain oatmeal and adding fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, Craisins or whatever your child likes, along with a bit of honey or other sweetener.
If your child attends public school, there’s a good chance it serves breakfast, and you don’t have to qualify for free or reduced price meals to take advantage of the program for an often very low price. In most cases, the cost is lower than you’d spend making breakfast at home.
School breakfast works especially well for kids who don’t wake up feeling hungry but feel a bit peckish a couple of hours later. Check your school’s Web site for information on their breakfast program along with menus and pricing. Schools must meet certain nutritional requirements in their breakfasts in order to participate in the federal program, and you may have convenient online prepayment options to avoid having to send cash to school with your kids.
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