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Simple Tips to Get Your Sleepyhead to Eat a Good Breakfast

Does your child wake up slowly with no appetite first thing in the morning? That’s a challenge worth solving because by the time the breakfast hour rolls around she might not have had anything to eat for as long as twelve to eighteen hours. This early nutrition is critically important to her health and well-being, so it's worth the effort to find creative ways to convince her to have some breakfast.

Forget a meal – make it a “snack.”

A child who isn’t in the mood for breakfast will likely reject a big meal. So don’t try to convince her to eat one. Instead, think of this more as a “morning snack.” Referring to it this way might even help to convince her to eat.

Keep it light.

Provide something light, like toast with peanut butter, or yogurt and granola. These will likely be more acceptable than a bigger meal to a child who isn’t feeling very hungry.

Try a liquid breakfast.

A child who doesn’t want to eat might be willing to partake of a breakfast drink. Try a smoothie made of yogurt and fruit or go all-in on a Blendtopia smoothie kit.

Opt for a non-traditional breakfast.

Who says you have to have cereal, eggs, or toast? If your child enjoys a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a serving of yesterday’s leftover dinner, that works!

Provide choices.

Instead of plunking down a plate of food, give your child a choice of two of three options. If she’s got some say in the menu she may be more willing to eat. A beginning reader will get a kick out of a "breakfast menu" -- write down the choices on paper with boxes for her to check off her selection!

Be consistent.

Provide this “morning snack” at the exact same time span from her waking up each morning – such as fifteen to twenty minutes after she wakes up. If you stick to this schedule her system will adjust and she’ll begin to expect something to eat at that time each day. Need more tips? Check out Elizabeth's vidoes with helpful, no-cry solutions to common parenting battles.


Elizabeth Pantley's picture
No-Cry Solution Series Author

Elizabeth Pantley is a parent educator, mother of four, and the author of the now-classic baby sleep book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution, as well as six other books in the series, including The No-Cry Separation Anxiety SolutionThe No-Cry Potty Training SolutionThe No-Cry Discipline Solution, The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution, plus other successful parenting books. She is known worldwide as the practical, reasonable voice of respectful parenting.