Breakfast – A good investment for growing children

We all know that skipping breakfast can create a lot of behavioural patterns in children. Statistics have already proved that children who skip breakfast are poor performers.

My children like many children are picky eaters. It is a task to bring the two to the dining table especially during the rush hours of morning. They would love to skip breakfast especially when it is not their choice. So any traditional breakfast for the morning like idli, dosa, bread, cornflakes are not done.

Breakfast - A good investment for growing children - Asha Balakrishnan

I thought of an idea where they don’t miss their breakfast and yet enjoy and so found a way.

My sister a nutritionist once suggested I go to the supermarket and pick up a packet of all multigrains and nuts like walnut, almonds etc. Sprout the multigrains, dry roast them and grind them to a powder and store it in airtight container. In the morning, all one has to do is boil them without lumps and mix it with milk to make a multigrain porridge. The thicker the better to take care of the nutritional needs of my children in school.

This is an easy to make breakfast,  I pack as much goodness as possible by adding a dash of ground flax seeds( now tell me which child likes  nuts like almond, walnuts and flax seeds,  so I disguise them), a spoonful of date syrup, honey according to the sweetness required and the porridge is done. They don’t  even know what goes into the porridge and so they eat all the nutrient food that they hate.

Moreover it gives the mom in me a satisfaction that I send a well nourished child to school. Rest assured, an alert and active mind can do wonders in their curricular and co-curricular activities without the stress of tuitions.

And perhaps the alertness is what making my children star performers in their school (my daughter recently scored a CGPA of 10/10 in her CBSE finals and my son is a  ‘A+’ performer  without much efforts). The attention they pay in class, just recalling their school work, applying their mind and enjoying their childhood by playing even a day prior to their exams helps them to get a top grade and shine in co-curriculum. Instead of private tuitions they spend their time making soccer moves, learning art and music. Perhaps the breakfast does the trick.

When I have no time to do this, I instead  slightly sauté the  branded multigrain atta available in markets in ghee and add ground walnuts, almonds, cashew to the powder to make it richer. (I make a powder of the nuts after dry roasting them in microwave and store them in airtight containers, it is  easier to handle).

Or, even when this is difficult, I buy the health mix available in the stores. Generally children find it easier to gulp in the morning rather than eat their solid breakfast.

To break the monotony, I alternate it with rice and dal porridge. I mash a ladleful of boiled rice, dals and vegetables, to this I add a little rasam powder for that spiciness and the goodness of vitamin C from lemon juice.  The soupy consistency which is warm easily slips into their tummy in the morning. This is ideal during winters to keep the child away from common cold.

Yet again, I had a problem. I told you my children are picky eaters, the degree of pickiness varies too. If one likes to have multigrain porridge, the other loves rasam soup. So, between them I told them to make a timetable where they would decide the menu when to have their choice. They alternated their choices for breakfast and gave me a lunch timetable too.

Children Breakfast Timetable

Today, three years later I don’t need a timetable. They have learnt to have both the multigrain porridge and rasam soup.

A nutritious and well balanced breakfast is most important for an alert and active mind in the school.

Asha Balakrishnan is a hardware design engineer by profession, a certified online grader for SAT, GRE, GMAT and other essays by choice, A SAHM, a blogger. Born in Chennai, brought up in Bangalore and now she calls Hyderabad her home. A mother to two teens aged 15 and 13.

  • Hi Asha! I enjoyed your post very much – I also wrote about the lunch timetable in one of my posts here – so convenient, isn’t it? While my son doesn’t fuss about food – like all kids, he has specific preferences and I find it easy to follow his choice because ultimately it is all healthy. You’re right about packing in that good breakfast to kick the day off to a great start! Makes a huge difference.

    We used to make the kanji maavu at home earlier, but now I use more variety and make only a little of the maavu for variation. Where is your blog?

    Great post! 🙂

    • You are right, vidya. It makes a huge difference. Yeah, the time table works better with most children like yours and mine. my posts are at shreshar.blogspot.com.

  • Nice Post 🙂
    I am a mother of a two year old and love to hear tips of how to get the child to like the porridge. Anything of the similar consistency is termed gooey and chucked off! Sigh! Its a battle in my house.
    I have now switched to whole grain parathas stuffed with all veggies. Thats accepted in my house. I am still not worried about her grades yet. Filling the picky choosy toddler’s stomach is my main aim for the time being.

    • Whole grain parathas with veggies is a best option for breakfast. My children can’t eat paratha for breakfast or any solid food in the early morning before school. Just milk is what they would have preferred. i substituted it with porridge. In fact , many of my friends still give only milk for their school going children. This will not suffice for the day. Your kid is too young, don’t even worry about grades 🙂

  • raodivya

    Agree with Sirisha, anything of this consistency will be termed gooey by my kiddo. And Rasam is spicy for her. Doesn’t look like your kids are “fussy” eaters, lucky you. 🙂

    • 🙂 Depends on how you make rasam. I don’t pack it with too many spices in the early morning . My children found it gooey too. Infact he disliked it, i turned him around by adapting the timetable. Thank you 🙂

  • Fab

    Lovely post, Asha!! You’re right, no compromises on eating breakfast!! My son loves muesli and oats, I think he’d be willing to eat them any time during the day! But then, the muesli should not have dates in it, the oats should be of the right temperature and so on – pickiness seems like a birthright for kids!!

    • Muesli and oats is very nutritious for breakfast. Absolutely, that is my point . no compromise on eating break fast and yeah, you are right about pickiness. Thanks Fab, for your thoughts on my post.

  • Wonderful and insightful post, Asha. While my son is not at all fussy about food, what he needs is variety. So, it’s a different dish on all the days of the week. I liked your idea of powdered nutrients! Will try it out! 🙂

    • You are right, shilpa. children need variety these foods. yeah, do try it, don’t forget to add walnut and almonds. They are good brain food.

  • Wow! That’s great Asha. I am really bad at this…. I think I need to pick up tips from you….