I know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I have never found it to be a very exciting meal. As a kid we had a very limited selection of cereals - Raisin Bran, Cheerios, Corn Flakes, or Rice Krispies. On vacations we would get an assortment of mini boxes and my brother and I would fight over the "fun" cereals, but beyond vacation our cereal selection was very limited and in my opinion, boring. This limited selection and the fact that I don't like milk in cereal - I just can't deal with mushy cereal - quickly turned me against cereal and breakfast all together. Once I could make my own breakfast choice I decided that breakfast should consist of coffee - lots of coffee - and maybe a little cookie or brownie.
When I became responsible for providing a nutritious start to the day for my three little ones, I knew I needed to provide them something other than coffee - coffee and toddlers don't mix. When my son was little we would have scrambled eggs, oatmeal, or waffles and yogurt, but cereal wasn't usually on the menu. Like many other toddlers my kids carried around little container of O's to snack on throughout the day, but they didn't usually have them for breakfast. Once my son started preschool and we had to get out the door earlier in the morning we started to change our breakfast selection and cereal began making an appearance on our morning menu. Much to my surprise I returned to my roots, buying only Raisin Bran, Cheerios, Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies. Everyone was happy, for a while, but quickly the kids became attracted to the boxes with bright colors and fun characters. The Mom in me resisted for a while, thinking those cereals weren't healthy but the kid in me kept telling me to give in and let them have the fun stuff. We have now come to a compromise, I buy my "root" cereals and they get to choose a fun cereal. At breakfast time they get to choose one of each kind and either mix them together or have them separately. I have come around to the fun cereals a little bit, despite the sugars in some types there are also some nutritional benefits. I try to steer the kids away from the super sugary cereals at breakfast time and instead have them as a snack later in the day. This is working for us for now, but I am sure it will quickly change and I will be looking for more breakfast options and coming up with more compromises.
So how do you start the day? Do you and your kids have the same breakfast? Do you make a healthy meal for your kids and then sneak a little cookie for yourself?
This is my first giveaway, so please excuse me if it is a little rough, but General Mills and myblogspark is providing one lucky winner 10 sample size cereals and a milk pitcher. If you would like to win leave a comment by June 17th, you can let me know how you like to start your day or you can simply say hi. Good luck and thanks for playing along!