Skipping Breakfast

  • My two year old goes back and forth with wanting to eat breakfast. Most days, a cup of Carnation Instant Breakfast is all she wants. Others, she’ll eat a whole bowl of Cheerios and milk. Either way, getting her to eat is a daily challenge. I’m tempted to let her skip breakfast altogether, but I’d feel like she’s not getting enough nutrition during the day. What are your thoughts on this? 

  • Well....I know how you feel. My 18 month old is a bit scrawny and doesn't always like to eat at meals. No matter how you cut it, you simply can't MAKE a child eat if they don't want to. I try really hard throughout the day to offer healthy snacks and alternatives to Junkfood. In addition, you could consider giving her one of those premixed nutrition drinks for Children or make your own nutritious smoothies. It is a daily battle isn't it?????

  • Ahh...toddler-eating habits are wonderful, aren't they? Once entering toddlerhood, you will notice that your child is a fussier, pickier eater, and changes his/her mind constantly regarding food choices. My youngest niece went through a phase in which she only wanted to one certain food for 3 days straight. I don't recall the exact food, but it was healthy and knowing that this was just a phase, my sister just went with the flow. Sometimes you have to take what you can get! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for babies and adults alike. Not eating breakfast can lead to a decrease in alertness, increase in fatigue, and an increase in irritability.  Now that your daughter is aware of the foods she likes and dislikes, it is your role to be creative with the appearance of the meal. Dressing up and disguising healthy foods will make a huge difference. There are some great cookbooks out there for kids that show how you can transform boring, every day finger foods into exciting meals that are alluring to toddlers. Cut finger foods into fun shapes, turn eggs into smiley faces, and cut bread into hearts and stars, etc. These little gestures can make food more attractive. Also, make sure your child is not consuming too much liquid during the day. If she drinks too much milk or juice, her tummy will be too full for solid food. Drinking calories is not a substitute for eating well-balanced meals. However, liquid nutritional supplements/smoothies are a good option for kids since they taste yummy while providing required vitamins and minerals. If you like enjoy baking, add vegetables to whole-wheat muffin mix as a disguise. Whole-wheat toaster waffles are a nice change from the typical oatmeal/cereal routine. "Yogurt on the go" packets usually work well because the flavors appeal to even the pickiest eaters and are a great source of calcium. When it comes to toddler eating, it is a process of elimination, but you will soon determine what works and what doesn't. You can force your child to eat, but making mealtimes less stressful is the goal. Make sure to follow up with weight checks at your pediatrician's office to make sure your child is growing appropriately. Voice these concerns to your doctor and ask about vitamin supplementation. Be patient and good luck!

  • The fickle nature of toddlers never ceases to amaze me, especially when it comes to food. We try not to put too much pressure on our daughter to eat, but we always have a few standbys that are foolproof like fruit or lowfat yogurt or cheese that she will eat that makes us feel like she is getting her nutrients. But that could change tomorrow!