Since my 3-year-old started preschool, he has refused to eat breakfast. We’re trying to wake him up a little earlier to see if he has more time to get hungry, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Suggestions on quick, healthy things to try with him in the mornings?
This could be a case of your preschooler wanting to be in charge of his life. Depending on how recent this change is, he may be feeling a lack of control in his surroundings and is rebelling by controlling what he can.
Try having a few of his favorite foods on hand so he can choose what he would like for breakfast — perhaps a smoothie with banana, chia seeds, spinach or avocado (you could call it a hulk smoothie) almond butter (or sunflower seed if nuts are not an option), full fat organic milk or organic coconut milk if dairy is not in his diet. Or try a pumpkin muffin made with sprouted spelt flour or almond flour and sweetened with maple syrup (causes a lower rise in blood sugar than regular refined white sugar) or unsweetened apple sauce. Perhaps a bowl of sprouted oatmeal with his favorite fruit and a little maple syrup.
If your preschooler likes soups, a cup of warm homemade chicken bone broth or chicken soup (in a glass container preferably) on the way to preschool would be a great choice (contains protein, vitamins and minerals) or perhaps a whole egg (contains choline which is a critical nutrient for brain development) with a sprinkling of sea salt.
If he still refuses to eat breakfast perhaps pack a small snack for him (from the above choices, or something else he loves) and take it preschool. Explain to them what is happening and ask that they have this snack available for him when he asks for it.
Also try to have snacks with you at all times, for when he feels ready to eat. If nuts are in his diet, keep a stash of trail mix with you that he can snack on (pumpkin & sunflower seeds, almonds, macadamias, walnuts etc. whatever he likes, making sure they are raw (not roasted or salted) and of good quality.
If you are familiar with essential oils you could diffuse citrus or peppermint in the morning to wake him up and make him alert and ready for the day.
As he gets older, his need for food in the morning will increase and you should find that his eating habits change so he is eating earlier in the day.
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