Breakfast Battles

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Four-year-old Won't eat Breakfast

April 1999

Although my husband and I both believe that food should not be an issue for battles, apparently I'm not very good at putting this principle into practice! While my son (4 years old) is a picky eater in general, breakfast is a particularly difficult challenge, especially on school days when the mornings are often a rush. (He also loves lounging in bed and cuddling, so it's tough just getting him up!) DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ME ???


Though this might seem horrible to some: my problems with my son's breakfast were solved when I started serving him breakfast in bed! (Cringe!) Yes, in bed. I had to leave early in the morning and his father was in charge of getting him to school. To often this meant his father slept until the last minute and then rushed around trying to get my son out of the house in time. It also meant my son was essentially unsupervised until his dad started running around 15 minutes before they had to leave. I started bringing him to our bed in the morning (totally asleep) turning the TV on to some 'educational' program and serving breakfast on a tray. My son would wake up and eat his breakfast at his leisure. After a short while he'd feel the pick me up from the food and he'd be in a great mood! He's 8 now and no longer has breakfast in bed. Sometimes (rarely) I have to carry him to the table he usually just drags himself there - once he's eaten his energy picks up and by the time I'm out of the shower he's dressed, combed, teeth are brushed and he's ready to go.

We have the same issue with our four year old. She suddenly turned off breakfast refusing her once loved dry cereals, eggs, bagels and the like. Its not a power struggle, she just says shes not hungry. But we find she has to eat or she gets horribly moody by mid- morning. We've had a lot of luck with smoothies (yogurt, frozen bananas and strawberries and some apple juice concentrate) and some success with leftovers of favorite dinners. On some days we've had to resort to PowerBars and fruit. I'm fairly certain that if we went towards more sugar, she'd follow but we don't want to go there yet. Good luck!

Take breakfast along--PB&J sandwich, fruit, dry cereal and milk to drink, etc.