What should I do if my kid refuses to eat breakfast?

Real Mom Problem

“I get my son up at 6:30 am (school starts at 7:45) so he can wake up and eat breakfast. Only thing is, he hardly eats. He says he's not hungry. I just worry about him and his brain functioning at school on an empty stomach!”

by maidjillian maidjillian

Quick Tips

  • 1. Try letting your child choose what he wants to eat even if it's not typical breakfast fare (e.g. sandwiches or cheese and crackers)
  • 2. Consider trying smoothies or instant breakfast drinks
  • 3. Don't worry too much if he eats well otherwise
  • 4. Talk to your child's doctor if you have concerns about his nutrition

Real Mom Solutions

Your kid needs fuel for school, but what if he won't eat breakfast? See what these moms suggest you do.

Let Your Child Choose the Food

  • Tara922c

    I would let him choose what he wants to eat. If he wants to eat a sandwich in the morning, let him.

  • corrinacs

    Have your son pick out his breakfasts. My son picks his breakfasts out, whether it's cereal, waffles, Pop-Tarts, etc. That has really helped our cause, and he's a super picky eater.

  • bleumonster

    Don't think you have to have traditional breakfast fare just because it's morning. Leftover pizza is very portable.

Try a Liquid Breakfast

  • Kris1885

    I just bought a jar of Nutella and my daughters love it for breakfast. These are the same girls who refuse to eat peanut butter. It's more nutritious than regular peanut butter. Have you tried something like PediaSure? My youngest daughter absolutely refuses to eat in the morning, but even if I get half of a "chocolate shake" into her, it's better than nothing at all.

  • Jinx-Troublex3

    It's not the greatest, but you could try the Carnation Instant Breakfast mix or PediaSure, if your son will drink one of those in the morning.

  • wakymom

    Will he drink something for breakfast? Maybe give him a smoothie

Try a Treat or Reward

  • ddhb2007

    Can you give him a treat as a reward for eating? My daughter will eat just about anything if we're willing to offer up five M&M's as a reward.

  • Tara922c

    Maybe you can try letting him wake up 15 minutes earlier and watch a little TV before you feed him breakfast? He may eat more if he is more awake.

Get a Doctor or Teacher Involved

  • aetrom

    You might want to talk to his teacher. I know that my middle nephew is like that and the teacher will allow him to eat in the classroom.

  • corrinacs

    Is your son growing properly in weight and height? If not, I would run that by your pediatrician to make sure there's nothing going on -- probably harmless. The thing with my son is that I can't follow the rule of "Oh, don't bother him and he'll eat when he's hungry." Reality is, he won't. But we did have weight issues to worry about. Turns out he has many, many food allergies. I'm sure he was afraid of food. Not saying that's what's going on with your child, but something worth looking into.

  • kmrtigger

    Is he taking a multi-vitamin to supplement what he isn't getting by eating a variety of foods? If not you might want to talk to his doctor about which one is best for him.

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