The Great Breakfast Dilemma

by Stefani on 7-May-2008

This is my child, who knows that his mother is just this side of comatose in the mornings.

He says, “I want jelly toast and popcorn for breakfast!”

I say, “Sure, why not?”

It is not until I’m placing the plate before him that I think, in all my glorious morning mama wisdom, “Wait! What am I doing? The most important meal of the day should not be popcorn and toast!”

I gave it to him anyway. It’s better than sugar cereal, right?

Breakfast of Champions

I took a picture so that when he’s 14 and tells me that I never let him do anything, I can say “Well how many mothers do you know who give their kids popcorn for breakfast?”

I’m sure this will help. Surely he’ll back down and say “you’re right mom, I don’t need to pierce my elbows or spend Spring Break in Rio, not with a cool mom like you! How about I do some laundry and mow the lawn instead?”

Or something like that.

Cookies - It's What's for Breakfast

I had to draw the line though when he asked for cookies. Of course he had eaten three before he asked, so really the drawing of the line was kind of pointless. Peanut butter has protein in it, right?

So, when I came across this I started to feel a wee bit guilty. Lots of people are struggling to feed their kids. Lots of people have really few options in the way of fresh, healthy foods for their little students. Me, I;m just not a morning person, and that’s a lame excuse for not offering anything more creative and healthy for breakfast than toast and the occasional muffin or waffle (in my defense, I do make a pretty darn good waffle, in an iron and everything).

But what’s a girl to do? They don’t eat eggs in the morning, only at night and covered in ketchup. Go ahead make the face.

They do like french toast, so that’s something – something whose health benefits seem somewhat negated by the lake of syrup in which it sits.

I thought maybe it would help if I planned ahead instead of trying to come up with a stellar breakfast in my pre-caffeinated morning state. So, tonight I made some breakfast cookies (a la Erin Baker’s), and at this very moment we have some homemade yogurt incubating (which sounds kind of scary if you ask me) in the oven. Hopefully that will go into smoothies tomorrow morning.

I’ll run it all by my kitchen testers tomorrow and let you know how that goes.

What do you feed your kids for breakfast?

Sarah Jackson May 7, 2008 at 10:35 pm

My kids eat yogurt with fruit and granola, scrambled eggs (with ketchup), steel cut oats with brown sugar, raisins and a bit of cream, Cheerios with bananas, and peanut butter, chocolate and banana smoothies. Not all at the same time. Sometimes I make a fruit cobbler and we’ll eat that for breakfast, or an oatmeal cake. We’re all about eating a hearty breakfast to start the day. At least the kids are. I should probably follow their lead.

molly May 7, 2008 at 10:46 pm

yummy, peanut butter cookies for breakfast! they’d be great with a fresh peach (i see you’re reading David Masumoto’s books – loved epitaph for a peach). mollycoddle had a breakfast post sometime back with TONS of good suggestions from readers:
me, i’m with you, slow to wake up, rely heavily on cereal and milk. sometimes give in and buy crappy cereal because i too want to be remembered fondly some day. can’t wait to hear more about the yogurt…thinking about going down that road one of these days.

cyndi May 7, 2008 at 10:54 pm

whatever they ask for. i see no harm in it. they know what their bodies need better than i do. sometimes they need ice cream, especially during the hot,humid japanese summers. sometimes they ask for yogurt or green(add powdered kale) smoothies. sometimes it;s miso soup and udon. sometimes pasta. sometimes toast w/vegemite (papa’s aussie)…whatever their bodies need on that particular day.

Corynne Escalante May 7, 2008 at 11:23 pm

this is so funny! and i’m so glad to hear that there are other mothers out there who are not perfect. Sometimes when i am in a fog, my 3 year old will go into the fridge and take out a cold tortilla and just eat it. Breakfast time is the worst. i hate waking up and the first thing i hear are demands for breakfast. but, our usual rounds consist of oatmeal (the real stuff that takes like 5 minutes on the stove, i’ve found is so much tastier than the instant kind) with a little brown sugar, lots of berries, and milk. we also do cold cereal and i try to add some fruit in there too. or peanut butter toast with milk or we do calcium fortified orange juice. We had a cookie after breakfast the other day, too.

Corynne Escalante May 7, 2008 at 11:29 pm

i love this particular post! my son calls it jelly toast, too. i had no idea this was a real thing…

sometimes when my son wakes up before my husband leaves for work, he’ll get daddy to make him toast and wrap him up in blankets and put a movie on for him. so nice!

jessica May 7, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Hmmm, breakfast? Is that the meal my kids eat with their dad while I’m still completely unconscious in bed?

Allison Fouse May 7, 2008 at 11:45 pm

Hey Stefani,

You’re not alone. I fed my boys cookies and ice cream the other day for breakfast. I didn’t hear any complaints. Now, don’t get me wrong. This rarely happens, but well, it does happen.

Home made yogurt is the best. If you haven’t made it before, you will love it.

What I like to do: take about 1/2 cup of rolled oats and about 1/4 c. chopped almonds and toast them in a dry pan. Then in a separate bowl whisk together about a cup of yogurt, the juice of 1/2 an orange, and a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup. Mix it all up. Yum!

Tara May 8, 2008 at 4:39 am

Owen has had popcorn to go along with his peanut butter sandwich for breakfast, many times. Sometimes he wakes up and asks for some whole wheat pasta. My child only eats four or five foods, so I’ve learned to roll with the punches.

OMSH May 8, 2008 at 5:19 am

What is Kenny eating right now? Generic brand Lucky Charms. What is Emelie eating right now? Generic Brand Cocoa Puffs. What is Meredith eating right now? Generic Brand Fruity Pebbles.

Cereal is what’s for breakfast.
Pancakes are for Friday nights and Saturdays.

I don’t eat breakfast. The thought of eating before 10:00 is pretty repulsive to me on most days.

emily May 8, 2008 at 5:26 am

first of all, it never occurred to me that i could buy some sugar cereal now as an antidote to future elbow piercing. i just promised a box for the last day of school. hope it works. i’ll be taking pictures, for insurance. you’re brilliant.

and second, what we eat for breakfast? oatmeal with peanut butter and honey (practically sugar cereal!), eggs and jelly toast (we call it that too), sometimes bagels with cream cheese, lots of waffles with jelly or peanut butter, sometimes cereal with milk. my favorite, though, is when i’ve got a batch of hearty muffins disguised as yummy treats (whole wheat with blueberries, multi-grain with peanut butter) and i serve those with (or as an appetizer before) whatever they’re eating for breakfast. makes us all feel good.

molly May 8, 2008 at 5:42 am

this post makes us soulmates on so many more levels now:
my morning state?
EXACT same as yours
what I feed my kids for breakfast?
whatever they can get away with.
attempting to make homemade yogurt?
YES! why haven’t we talked about this. I’m on batch two and both didn’t work. I think b/c I was trying to add vanilla. I’m working on batch three this moment. It’s in the cooker.

wish my breakfasts were a little healthier, more exciting?

PS: Did you see this picture of mine on flickr yesterday?

amy May 8, 2008 at 6:12 am

we have a pancake freak here.
I am struggling too.
granola and yogurt too
Tell me bout these breakfast cookies pretty please?

shannon May 8, 2008 at 6:17 am

We make these a few times a week…

High Protein Pancakes

dump in a blender:

1 1/2-ish cups of cottage cheese
6 eggs
1 1/2-ish cups rolled oats
pinch of salt
splash of vanilla
tablespoon flaxseeds

puree and pour on the griddle. we like them the way they are but if you’re hooked on fluffy buttermilk pancakes i’ll bet you could add some baking powder/soda, whichever does the trick.

melmo May 8, 2008 at 6:19 am

granola. we love our granola!

but how do you make yogurt? i’ve tried once or twice, but i’m missing something for sure.

Jennifer May 8, 2008 at 6:19 am

Pancakes, cereal (not too sugary if we can help it). Smoothies (yogurt, milk, frozen berries), always there and ready. I read a tip once about mixing the sugar cereal with “good” cereal, slowly building up to less sugar cereal. I say, if there is fruit and juice along with it, then it is a good breakfast.

Sarah May 8, 2008 at 6:21 am

Jack eats oatmeal every single day. As in every single day since he was about 12 months old. LOL So I am not much help.

Somewhere I have a really awesome oatmeal recipe which includes steel cut oats and some sugar and some milk and it sits overnight so that it turns into a thick sort of sweet pie like thing. Your kids might like it since it is sweet. I can dig up the recipe if you want, just holler.

katie fox May 8, 2008 at 6:37 am

this post cracked me up! 🙂 oatmeal is a great quick & easy breakfast, as well as nutritious. don’t add sugar, use real maple syrup instead (it’s actually very nutritious), plus some berries, cream, whatever. and french toast isn’t bad either, just use whole grain bread and real maple syrup, instead of that maple-flavored high fructose corn syrup stuff. both of these are favorites in our house!

Annika May 8, 2008 at 7:10 am

Yesterday he had honey-nut o’s with strawberries and soy milk, then goat’s milk yogurt with granola and strawberries, then toast with jam. Also popcorn leftover from the night before. And an apple. (With all that, you’d think he must be about 14, but no. He will be two next week.)

Sam May 8, 2008 at 7:45 am

Usually we eat oatmeal or toast and yogurt, but today is my son’s birthday, so we had cake…and yogurt, which of course makes it OK:)

Kate May 8, 2008 at 8:51 am

Breakfast at our house varies. Cereal & milk is popular – I try to only buy cereal with <10g sugar per serving, but occasionally will buy the "sugar" cereal as a treat. Toast is another easy favorite. I sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on it, or smear on some peanut butter usually. I'll also make homemade pancakes if I have the fixings, then the extras go in the freezer for another morning. Frozen waffles & whole grain french toast are in the freezer too. My son will eat fried eggs, but not my daughter. I always have veggie bacon and/or sausage in the freezer too which the kids like. We occasionally have turkey sausage. And there's always yogurt, fresh fruit, applesauce, etc. Lately I've been making homemade granola, which is delish in yogurt (for me) and my daughter likes it with milk.

Meg May 8, 2008 at 10:58 am

That first paragraph just cracked me up!! This is how my mornings are with my kids. They ask for the worst things and often get them because I am soooooo tired! I have been known to let them eat “fruit snacks”. Ya know, the Fruit Gushers or whatever they are called. I am getting better. Slowly, but surely!

Sandy May 8, 2008 at 1:06 pm

My kids love croissants, plain. Yogurt, cheese, applesauce.
They also love oatmeal, or porridge as Grandma calls it.
Oh, egg in a cup!! You break apart a piece of bread in a cup, then soft boil an egg and mix in until it’s all mushy and the bread soaks up the yolk. They love saying ‘egg in a cup’ too.

Jenn May 8, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Popcorn and toast? Sounds about right:) Breakfast just really isn’t my thing… I’m just happy that I can get them to eat granola and peanut butter mixed together with their daddy. I think it’s a bit much, but you should see thouse three chow down!

Mandy May 9, 2008 at 5:57 am

I don’t… their school does. Sounds horrible, but it’s true!

jules bright May 9, 2008 at 11:01 am

Here’s a yummy one: Peanut Butter Balls
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup dry milk
1/4 cup honey
mix together and knead well,
roll into small balls, refridgerate!
Yum! My kid’s adore this snack and eat them for breakfast with strawberries. They also have an occasional hard boiled egg, my son loves leftover chicken breast with an apple. Cheese and fruit are big around here, too!

Lisa May 10, 2008 at 5:41 am

This made me laugh!
I am a morning person and breakfast is big here. As soon as I read the beginning of your post I thought……….. OH, grits in a different form. Way to go Mom, thinking outside the box. Happy Mothers Day to you!

Barbara Smith May 10, 2008 at 11:05 am

hmm, today was brown rice wraps with peanut butter and honey. and almond milk. yesterday was buckwheat and chocolate chip pancakes. the day before that was steel cut oats (soaked in boiling water the night before for maximum health benefits). also, green smoothies make a pretty regular appearance (spinach peach pineapple being our favorite). When I’m too tired for any of that, I’ll scramble a couple of eggs with olive oil and sea salt. Served with watered down orange juice (the vitamin C helps the body absorb the iron in the eggs).

I should mention that breakfast starts when we wake up at about 11:00… so it should really be called brunch.

Visty May 11, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Cereal and milk most mornings. It’s what they want. I make sure that all the cereals in the house have no corn syrup and no partially hydrogenated oils. This results in a short list of Kix, Quaker Squares, Cheerios, and Life. But it works.

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