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Toddler breakfast ideas

hi hounds,

am hoping you can help me out ... i've got an almost-2 year old little guy and am in a breakfast rut.

he USED to eat oatmeal religiously every morning ... loaded with coconut oil (to fatten him up) and hemp hearts. we do french toast every once in a while but recently, that seemed to fall out of favour. pumpkin pancakes were also hit-and-miss.

this morning, there was practically NO breakfast ingested ... just lots of tears (on his part) and frustration (on my part). he gets morning snack at daycare pretty much as soon as he's dropped off and sometimes he eats three servings and sometimes he eats nothing.

i have a protein shake every morning and he enjoys having some of what i'm having but even today, it was a miss.

anyway, would love any toddler-friendly breakfast ideas that we can either make a big batch of on the weekend or the night before.

thank you ... from a tired chow-mom.

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  1. I don't have any easy weekday ideas as my little guy ate breakfast at daycare but I will say the "loved until yesterday and now won't touch it with a ten foot pole" behavior is very common with toddlers and little kids.

    10 Replies
    1. re: cleobeach

      hi cleobeach,

      did your little guy have a snack at home? or anything before he went off to daycare?

      1. re: lilaki

        No. I would give him a small cup of juice. He liked the Bolthouse Farm smoothie/juices.

      2. re: cleobeach

        This. My 17 month old is usually a pretty enthusiastic eater, but this morning all of the sausage and bagel (that was happily eaten on Tuesday) went to the dog. He got a big bottle of milk in the car on the way to daycare, and a few crackers, which are his current obsession.

        I learned after years of frustration with my eats-like-a-bird tiny kid 6 year old, that Ellyn Satter has it right. It's your job to provide nourishing food, and his job to eat it.

        We do a lot of french toast in the morning, sometimes oatmeal or peanut butter toast or cream cheese and jelly sandwiches if mom's in a rush. If I'm making a green smoothie, I'll share it. I always offer a big glass of (full fat, even for the six year old) milk. Nothing is going to be eaten every morning. They also do get bored.

        1. re: Savour

          We have the cracker obsession at our house, too... First graham crackers, now "cheesy" crackers.

          Another fan of Ellyn Satter here. Also, another tip from Ellyn Satter is that remember, they may not eat a balanced diet at every meal or even every day. What they pick and choose typically balances out over the course of a week. So, they might eat a no meat two days in a row, that sort of thing.

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            i love the ellyn satter book. it was like a breath of fresh air. we were referred to a dietician this summer because my guy is really skinny and she pretty much echoed the book.

            just want to have a list of tasty breakfast foods that we can rotate through. even though i will have the same thing every morning for months on end, clearly, my kid wants some variety!

            that said, i think i will go get some graham crackers...

            1. re: lilaki

              As a fellow mom of a skinny kid (Thing 1 wasn't on the charts until she was about 3), I understand the drive to find SOMETHING they will eat. But I can also say that the establishment will drive you nuts about kids being too skinny until they're 3 and then too fat, but there are other indicators you should really be looking at - meeting developmental milestones, active, happy kids, hair and nails growing and healthy. Some kids are just going to be skinny.

              I of course know nothing about your personal situation.

              A couple of high calorie/protein foods that have always gone over well in our house are oatmeal with egg in it and salami. We eat a lot of french toast in various guises too (flavored with pumpkin butter, with maple syrup, with cheese and ketchup ...)

          2. re: Savour

            I hadn't heard about the Ellyn Satter book and just looked it up on Amazon. I love that there is one chapter called "Is Your Toddler Jerking You Around at the Table?" I need to read that book!

            1. re: pellegrino31

              You can probably find it at the library. I liked her books but found them worth reading once and never felt the need to own any.

              1. re: pellegrino31

                I work with children in my profession, and I will say that Ellyn Satter is amazing. Also look up Katja Rowell. The most important thing is to not make food a battle ground. Please read Ellyn's book if you have any involvement in a child's mealtime (parent, caregiver, etc.). It can make all the difference in the world.

                In terms of breakfast foods - really anything your child enjoys! It doesn't have to be something that's particular to breakfast (i.e. doesn't have to be a waffle, eggs, etc.) Try foods he enjoys at other times of the day too.

                1. re: lovessushi

                  My children's favorite breakfast food is probably pizza.

          3. My experience is that whatever you get right will be all wrong six months later. Up to about 6 years I'm afraid, but don't rush it by, it's a time to be treasured.

            Annabel Karmel was a great help to us:

            http://www.annabelkarmel.com/gb/

            1. Breakfast things my kids enjoyed at that age:

              Scrambled eggs w/ WW toast fingers
              Zucchini muffins, made ahead, frozen, thawed in microwave
              cubes of cheese
              hardboiled eggs
              smoothie with plain yogurt, banana, strawberries and a bit of milk

              All of the above were messy as hell, I will admit.

              Also, please don't worry about it much. If he is getting a snack at daycare, he is not going to starve whether he eats at home or not.

              1. http://karenlebillon.com/books/Get the book.
                ( Something wrong with the address.
                It's called 'French Kids Eat Everything'.
                It could change you and your kids life for the better if you follow her guidelines. IF.

                1. Everything you listed is soft-textured. Try for something crunchier.

                  Is he eating what you serve at dinnertime? Maybe offer dinner leftovers for breakfast.

                  Waffles? The crispier texture and shape might entice him.

                  Sliced bananas - may be frozen.

                  Cheese sticks.

                  Does he want stuff he can pick up with his fingers, or is he wanting to use fork & spoon to feed himself.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                    Good point about texture. My 16 year old likes to eat hard crunchy things still - as a toddler he loved frozen corn and continues to eat it as an afterschool snack. Hey, whatever.

                    1. re: tcamp

                      fork, spoon, fingers ... any delivery method is all good with this guy as long as he does it HIMSELF! :)

                      yes, he eats what is served at dinner (except vegetables ... let's not go there).

                      did waffles for a bit ... seemed luke warm to them.

                      will look for crunchier things ... thanks!

                      1. re: lilaki

                        My nephew was always more interested in a leftover meatball than a muffin or fruit.... Whatever works!