January 3, 2012

Mornings Don't Have To Be Hectic

Everyone can relate to the morning rush. Getting your children up and dressed can sometimes be a challenge. Then there's breakfast. Do you sometimes feel like a short order cook because your children can't decide what they want to eat? Do you sometimes feel they're not eating a healthy breakfast on a regular basis?

I have a great suggestion for making breakfast easier and more healthy and it begins with making a breakfast menu. Enlist the help of your child to make the menu. Choices can include eggs, toast, cereal, yogurt, pancakes, french toast, waffles and fruit. Allow for choices each day and a choice of a drink. This puts you in charge of what food is offered at breakfast and it gives your child  the power of choice.

You can create your breakfast menu several different ways. 

I copied days of the week onto card stock and laminated it using self-sealing lamination sheets (available at office supply stores). You could also use clear Contact paper which can be found in the kitchen aisle of discount stores. The food pictures I found by doing an internet image search. You may want to take photos of the actual foods or your children could draw pictures of them. For this particular menu I added self adhesive Velcro dots to the back of the food pictures so the menu could easily be adjusted from week to week.  
This menu was made the same way but doesn't have the option of changing the menu from week to week.
These two menus were created using note card sized card stock. I adhered the food pictures to both using double-stick tape. The green backed menu isn't laminated as each days menu is displayed in an acrylic photo frame. The second menu utilizes 3 x 5 note cards. I covered them with clear Contact paper, punched holes in the top two corners and looped them together with book rings I found at an office supply store.

Each morning at breakfast children can point to their choice or if you've laminated them they can circle their choice with a washable marker. Young children who are not yet reading can easily make a choice by looking at the photos. With older children you may opt to include the words of the foods in addition to the pictures to encourage sight word recognition. 

Children get very excited about making and using these breakfast menus and parents can relax knowing their children are eating a healthy breakfast and there's no longer a morning battle over food choices. 

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