What is it with kids and packaged breakfast cereal?! One taste and they're hooked. Yes it is the sugar and salt. And the marketing. Mamas want their children to actually eat something in the morning, especially before they go to school so for many families they start their day with packaged cereal mainly because it is quick and children will eat it. But as we know, filling up on empty calories is not ideal for growing and learning. There must be another way.
My creative wholefood mama friend Robin emailed me her inspiring and creative approach to steering her school age children, Maya and Rye, to eating a nutritious wholefood breakfast I loved the story so much I asked Robin if I could share it here.
"As far as my children’s eating goes, breakfast is one meal I feel is not as wholesome as it could be. I make my own muesli, but my husband prefers a packaged cereal which is predominately wheat based.
I have been struggling with breakfast as there is “dad’s cereal” in the cupboard next to “mom’s” cereal and “dad’s” cereal keeps winning…hands down.
I thought about how I could try and persuade my children to eat something more wholesome for breakfast. Sure, we have egg morning, but on cereal morning, they kept going for “dad’s” cereal.
So about a week ago, I told them that they could make their own muesli. “Make our own muesli? What’s that mum?”
“Well”, I explained, “I will take a bunch of jars from the pantry and you will choose what you want in your muesli, measure it, mix it and then jar it in your own jar.”
The idea sat in their heads for a whole week until I started pulling jars from the pantry to make muesli bars for their lunch boxes.
“Oh, mum. Are we going to make our own muesli now?”
I was so happy- They had caught on to the idea of making their own personalised breakfast cereal.
On the day of the making, when Maya was almost done mixing she said “Ohhh mum, this looks so good.”
And about one hour after Rye bottled his, he came over and asked if he could eat some of his muesli now, “Just to make sure it is good for breakfast.”
SUCCESS!!! I sure hope so. I told them that they did have to finish what was in the jar that they made but if they did not like it, we could modify it for the next time. ”You could toast it, add more cinnamon, put more fruit in, more nuts, less of something you did not like.”
They both measured and wrote down their recipe so that they could remember what they put in the first go and then modify. Maybe we are on to something good!
I personally believe that with all those jars open, their little bodies will tell them what they need to eat. And they were all great options!
Here is the list…
Wheat Bran Sticks
Parenting is a tight rope act…when is authoritative parenting the “right” answer, when are self-made choices the “best"? I really have no answer. But I am hoping that they will be excited for breakfast tomorrow because they made it, they chose what was in it, and because they can modify it.
I really trust in their young intuition, their bodies, given the opportunity really will tell them what they need to be eating. And because I trust in that, I am happy to continually give them the space to modify.
When breakfast time came they both took the lids off their jars and smelled their muesli first.
"Oh Mama, smell mine!" "And Mine!!"
Thank you Robin for sharing your story so honestly. It is an inspiring read that shows how encouraging our children to eat well can be fun.
What's happening at the breakfast table in your house readers? Tell us your favorite breakfasts.
Do you make your own muesli?