Organization of School Day Breakfast Menus
And so begins the school day morning:
“Please eat something.”
“Just tell me what you want.”
Then it moves to logic: “You know that you like what we have. You went to the store with me to pick it out.”
Then it goes to health and success: “You simply can’t do well at school if you don’t eat a good breakfast.”
Next, insisting goes into effect. “You have to eat. Sit down here and eat this.”
Getting out the door on time would not be nearly so difficult if children would sit down and eat their breakfast. In part, they are putting off the inevitable. But, in reality, they just simply aren’t awake and are dragging their feet.
You beg – you cajole – you list EVERYTHING in the refrigerator! Then you repeat it when the second or third child wanders into the kitchen.
This year, try some new techniques to make breakfast smoother and less stressful. Take the begging and listing the menu off of your plate, so to speak, and put the responsibility on the children’s plate.
Start with a Dry-Erase Board:
Buy a dry erase board with magnets on the back and a marker – Attach it to the refrigerator.
Use the board to create a menu for this week’s breakfasts. Kids love to eat out and most have mastered using a menu. Instead of you reciting items everyday, let them choose from the menu.
Let kids help organize and learn to plan ahead by helping create the menu. List combinations that will interest them from Cheerios with milk to bagels topped with cheese to a scrambled egg with raisin toast.
Try to have a non-breakfast item on the list each week. Items such as grilled cheese sandwich or a slice of pizza can be nutritious and just the ticket for the child rolling his eyes at a frozen waffle.
Do not turn your mornings into being a short-order cook, so keep that list simple. But, do try to add something new and simple each week. For example, a banana smoothie is pretty darn simple but interesting. Just toss a yogurt, a banana and some ice in the blender and serve with some toast.
Be sure to erase the offering when you run out of that item or a new reason to hear fussing will be available.
Add a Clock to the Kitchen:
You may have digital clocks, but a clock with hands portrays a much more visual picture of time remaining. To this clock, add stickers or an arrow to the time when they must walk out the door. This lets the child visually see how much time there is between sitting down and heading out the door.
Use an Electronic Reminder:
Rather than fussing and pushing them to eat, set your phone alarm to ring ten minutes before departure. This signals that dishes go in the dishwasher and teeth are brushed- NOW!
View the Kitchen with Child Eyes:
Get down at your child’s level and see how you would manage in your kitchen. Is everything up high and hard to do?
Shelves in the refrigerator seldom get adjusted, but they do move. Take the things out of your refrigerator and move those shelves. Place milk, juice, and other items the kids need on the lower shelf. Place yogurt and other breakfast goodies where they can reach them, perhaps inside the door.
In the pantry, gather the breakfast cereals, instant breakfast and other breakfast foods onto one (1) shelf.
Make sure the cabinet that holds plastic child dishes is within easy reach so that no child needs a chair or footstool to reach them.
Author Lea Schneider, a columnist for What’s Cooking America, is a freelance writer and organizational expert whose organizing ideas have been published in many magazines including Woman’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, as well as numerous newspapers and websites. She is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.
Getting organized is all about living simpler and making things easier. The bonus is it often leads to saving money. Lea Schneider’s kitchen organizing columns tell you how to organize the many things that relate to kitchens, menus, meals, and special food events.
Check out all of Lea Schneider’s helpful home and kitchen columns at Organizing Kitchens, Pantries, Menus and Meals.