How To: Get your Toddler to eat their breakfast

There are many tricks and stories behind how I can get my Toddler to eat his breakfast… some work:

  1. Find out what time they usually like to eat – My Toddler won’t eat anything before 7-7.30am, even if we are up at 5am. I found if I wait until the 7am mark, he is most likely to eat his breakfast right away – without any stress.
  2. Let them choose their breakfast
  3. Let them help make it: If it’s toast, let them put it in the toaster. If it’s cereal, let them put it in the bowl and pour the milk (a little jug helps make less mess in this situation)
  4. Turn the T.V. off – we don’t watch much T.V. but in the early mornings, sometimes it goes on. We have a general rule that if it is on in the morning, it is off by 7.30am and doesn’t go on until 5pm at the earliest (unless they are sick, or it is raining AND all other indoor activities have been exhausted) I have found if the T.V. is on while my Toddler is eating a meal, he will get so wrapped up in the programme that he will forget to eat. A reminder and a warning to turn the T.V. off usually work, if not the T.V. goes off and stays off until he eats his food.
  5. Sit down with them and eat your breakfast too – show by example and spend time with them
  6. Help them out, feed them by hand
  7. Give them time, but if it is getting closer to morning tea time (or even lunch!) give up and just feed them the next meal. If you can avoid wasting the meal, put it in the fridge and try again the next day.
  8. Airplane spoon (imaginary or buy the ones that look like it – you can even get train and car spoons!)
  9. Use an incentive. E.g. “We can’t go out in the car until you eat all your breakfast”
  10. Make a fort for them to eat in or a tent if you have one

And some don’t work as much… here is a list of some of the things that have happened when my Toddler doesn’t want to have breakfast:

The “Tip the Table” method

  1. Give Toddler their breakfast at their kiddy table
  2. Toddler may sample the food (one bite) or just stare at it
  3. When you remind your Toddler to eat the food, Toddler refuses
  4. If you push the issue OR they get bored…they flip the table over!
  5. Sometimes you are lucky and the food lands right way up
  6. Others, you’re not so lucky and the food flips over with the table and you have a mess to clean up

The “Art skills” method

  1. Toddler is given breakfast
  2. Toddler then decides to tip the plate or bowl over onto their table or highchair tray
  3. Toddler then finger paints with the milk, cereal and/or spreads on the table

The “Here Mum” method

  1. Ask/Remind Toddler to eat their breakfast
  2. Toddler bring the breakfast over
  3. Go to reach for bowl (thinking that they want you to feed it to them
  4. Toddler then tips the bowl onto your own breakfast plate

The “Hat” method

  1. Give Toddler breakfast
  2. Toddler may sample some food
  3. Toddler wants to use the bowl as a hat
  4. Toddler now needs a complete bath or shower
  5. Make sure to take photo’s of this as it’s a cute moment to be remembered…
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