Putting Breakfast On Your Teen’s Morning To Do List: Elissa’s Monday Munch With Teens

Need help getting your teen daughters to eat? Listen to Elissa…

I can’t start my day without breakfast. I need the nutritional fuel to wake up my body, and the coffee to jolt my gray matter into working order. My daughter could set her digital clock by my 6:30 a.m. bagel, raisin toast, or English muffin.  So, how come it takes an early morning vigil by the front door to get my daughter to eat her breakfast?  It’s the last item on her morning to do list. Without my motherly intervention, it would be the first one she deletes.

Here is my daughter’s before school list: 1. Pull together an outfit, study the result in the mirror, and start over two more times. 2. Arrange her hair into a stylish messy bun, undo it, and spend ten minutes flat ironing it straight. 3. Survey the brown bag lunch I just packed, and chuck one snack she deemed one too many. 4. Sprint for the bus, but stop in her tracks when I call out,  “Eat some breakfast!” to grab the half toasted waffle wrapped in a paper towel I am waving in her face, as I stand on our front lawn in sweats and slippers.

What is it with teenagers and breakfast? According to a 2008 study at the University of Minnesota, up to a third of children and teens in our country skip breakfast each day and that number increases as the children advance through high school. Everyone is concerned about obesity in children these days. Eating breakfast might be a part of the solution. The study showed that the breakfast eaters had significantly lower body mass index scores than middle school and high school students who forego breakfast.

What can moms do to help their teens begin the breakfast habit?

Start off by having grab and go meals on hand that you can microwave in less than a minute (every second saved means an actual word or two of morning conversation with your teen, when her mood and moon align.)

Here are some speedy breakfast suggestions:

* Spread peanut butter or flavored cream cheese on a Nutri- Grain Waffle. Better yet, double it up to create a waffle sandwich. Wrap it in foil for portability. Your time-crunched teen can eat it while riding or walking to school.

* Stock up on disposable spoons. Send your teen off with container of yogurt and a utensil for eating it. The new Greek yogurts are rich, creamy and flavorful. My daughter’s favorite is strawberry Chobani, which boasts 14 grams of protein. It is Kosher, Gluten free, and a gelatin free, vegetarian friendly yogurt.

* My daughter never says no to apple cinnamon Kraft Bagel-fuls, which have 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and a reasonable 180 calories. They take seconds to heat in the microwave, and the filling is like a taste of sweet cream mixed with the memory of mom and apple pie.  This mom longs for the time to bake apple pies, but I’ll leave that to the moms who cook for a living at Kraft kitchens.

Are you sick of dealing with picky eaters, opinionated teens or attempting to please your entire family? Join Elissa C. Rosenthal for personal rants, raves and reasonable ways to please everyone (while still eating healthy).

Credit: © Taste of Home

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6 comments on “Putting Breakfast On Your Teen’s Morning To Do List: Elissa’s Monday Munch With Teens
  1. charlene cutler says:

    Great column! Great advice for adults as well.
    Looking forward to reading the next one.

  2. I agree Charlene: I love Elissa’s new column (I’m going to be looking forward to reading it each week, and getting advice for when my little ones are teens!)

  3. Deb Utter says:

    Great advice – can’t wait for the next column – thank you Elissa. I really appreciate the help!!!

  4. fredi roasenthal says:

    Great article. I’m a senior citizen, and I eat frozen waffles with peanut butter for breakfast, a lot. Your article is super. Keep it up.

  5. Carol Lee says:

    Hi Elissa! I have given up on trying to get breakfast into my teen aged sons. Sometimes one of them might grab a granola bar for later, that is the closest I can get!

  6. Barbara Zinaman says:

    Loved reading this since my son rarely eats breakfast–nothing\\\’s worked–he used to eat bagelfuls. I\\\’m lucky if he grabs a glass of o.j. or milk.
    Anyway, as always I love your creativity and the humor in your writing.
    Keep me posted. Bravo!!

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