It’s hard to find time for breakfast, especially during the school year, but these parenting tips will help you create an organized family routine and carve out valuable morning time so your family can spend it together.
Imagine a peaceful school day startingwith breakfast shared together as a family! How can you make this happen? By never putting off until the frantic morning rush the things that can be taken care of the night before!
Make Sure Kids Get Enough Sleep
If your kids wake up reluctantly, imitating the least-popular of the seven dwarfs, Grumpy and Sleepy, it’s a safe bet that they aren’t getting enough sleep. Younger children need 8-10 hours nightly and older kids function better with at least 8 solid hours of sleep. You can anticipate that children will stall and complain when you set and enforce regular school night bedtimes, but a sleep-deprived child has trouble concentrating and learning in school, and sleep deprivation weakens the immune system making kids more prone to illness and infections. Appropriate bedtimes are a must for everyone. With enough sleep, your children will wake up more easily – happier and refreshed, and ready to face the day ahead!
Pack Ahead of Time
Get kids in the habit of packing their backpacks and book bags after they complete their homework assignments, and always place these items in a specific location so nobody has to scramble and search for them. The night before is also the best time to choose the outfit they’ll wear for school the next day. Lay out the clothes – no more than two options – and you eliminate the big morning decision that often makes kids late and parents impatient! You’ll also know ahead of time if a loose button needs sewing or ifthat special blouse is in the laundry in time to do a quick wash and avoid starting the next day with tears and tantrums!
Pack school lunches the night before, too – with your child’s help. Pitching in teaches them responsibility, and by allowing kids to help you’re also giving them choices about the food going into the lunchbox. Offering reasonable options – apple or banana, chicken sandwich or tuna gives the child more control. Kids who have a say in their lunchtime food are more likely to eat their healthy packed lunch instead of trading it for salty snacks or simply tossing it away.
Get Up First
Get yourself up in plenty of time to shower, dress and be organized before the morning rush hour kicks in. You’ll have time to check that the kids are up and dressing, and maybe even sneak in a calming moment with a cup of coffee or tea before the stampede hits the kitchen!
Plan Breakfast Menus
Have quick and healthy breakfast options available…muffins, individual egg pizzas, oatmeal or farina, fresh fruit smoothies. Plan your breakfast menus a week in advance so you have the ingredients needed and fixing it is simple. Whole grain cereal with a topping of fresh fruit is always an option on days when everyone is running behind schedule. It’s essential that kids get a healthy start with a good breakfast. If you’ve simplified your morning routine by taking care of chores the night before it frees up time you can spend well, sharing the most nutritionally important meal of the day together!