Although I'm not personally a fan of a big breakfast, when it comes to my children, I've always paid attention to that old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
After all, breakfast might be the meal where we have the most control over what they eat. Do we REALLY know what they'll finish/swap or purchase with that school lunch we pack or that lunch money we give them each day?
As for dinner, it's sometimes on the run, and some kids are very persnickity anyway about what they will, or won't, eat. Vegetables can do a quick disappearing act, but they don't always end up in the kid's mouth. Older kids can simply disappear if they don't like what's being served.
But breakfast often presents a fairly consistent choice, and we know what they like. Full disclosure here, I'm one of those people who lose momentum if I don't have some sort of protein fix by late morning, so I've always made sure that they have a nutritious first meal of the day — especially before they head to school.
I'm big on eggs, although that gets a bit monotonous. (Not that the younger ones in this house seem to care.)
There are lots of variations I've picked up along the way — breakfast burritos with eggs, beans and various Mexican ingredients; eggs made with cheese, Hot Pockets (okay, they're quick in the morning) and other various egg-based meals.
Since we live in bagel territory, I sometimes serve bagels (preferably, not just white), either with cream cheese, or cheese melted on the bagel. Even peanut butter (real) on crackers (real) is a quick protein fix!
However, there's no rule that breakfast MUST be breakfast food. I had a Hawaiian friend with whom I sometimes shared a bowl of soup while our (then little) children played in the morning. Hey, it's hot and nutritious.
Apparently, that was nothing new for me. When I was little, my mother said I used to ask for chicken noodle soup for breakfast. She complied. After all, there are worse choices for breakfast.
So what do you serve (if you serve) or leave around for your kids to eat in the morning? What do little kids like? Is there an age where you stop serving breakfast, and let your kids fend for themselves?
BTW, one of my favorite rituals is a nice weekend breakfast for all of us...before they head off for pizza, Burger King or shared snacks. Then I feel less guilty if I refuse to cook dinner on the weekend. For those of my readers who may have also lived on Long Island at one point — it DID seem that cooking on a Saturday night was frowned upon by the local population, right?