To think that a busy life is no excuse for not giving your child breakfast?

(238 Posts)
exBrightonBell Tue 08-Jan-13 18:31:36

Just watched the BBC news about a school which will be giving all its pupils a free breakfast. Amongst the reasons for children not being given breakfast at home was having a busy life. They interviewed a mum who said that their mornings were too late and busy to reliably give the children breakfast, and that she didn't have time to have an argument about it. She seemed to think that this was completely reasonable. AIBU to think that this isn't a reasonable excuse? Poverty and neglect are both reasons why children don't get breakfast at home, but parents being too busy? Really?

colditz Tue 08-Jan-13 19:09:41

Yanbu! Poverty and neglect are, whilst not acceptable, understandable, but how long does it take to give them a piece of flapjack, for gods sake!

Ds2 hates eating in the morning, well he did until he turned six and his stomach turned into a black hole, but I used to just let him have anything I considered healthy, such as a hard boiled egg, or a banana, or a peanut butter sandwich.

Dd and ds1 leave the house at 7:15, but they always have breakfast, even if its just a cup of tea and slice of toast (and whatever crap they buy in the canteen before school)
Ds2 goes to breakfast club, he still has breakfast at home first as he tends not to want to eat there.

Breakfast is non negotiable, they make it themselves, they can have cereal, fruit, yoghurt, toast, eggs, whatever they want (within reason)

However breakfast will be eaten before they leave the house.

I've worked full time sines dc1 was 6 months old, breakfast takes 10 minutes.
Unless you have DCs who literally cannot eat first thing in the morning, my niece is like that, she will vomit if she eats before 9am, there's no excuse not to throw a bit of cereal in a bowl or toast a slice of bread?!

Hulababy Tue 08-Jan-13 19:11:27

Even when busy I do try to ensure 10y DD eats breakfast. However I do know that she isn't a big eater at breakfast time, well not unless she has been awake a while and it is more brunch. She doesn't like milk which doesn't help. She eats really well the rest of the time and not at all fussy, except for breakfast. Despite this we do ensure she has eaten something - she then takes a snack for playtime too.

Jinsei Tue 08-Jan-13 19:11:59

I don't think this is about parents who send their kids to morning childcare like a breakfast club - they might not be physically giving their children breakfast but they are still ensuring that it is provided.

It also isn't about kids who struggle to eat in the mornings - my DSis was one of them, and heaven only knows that my mum did her best to provide breakfast!

And it isn't about poverty or other difficult circumstances either. I think it's terribly sad that some families may struggle to feed their kids properly, but I am in no position to judge them. Likewise if there are other thongs going on in the family which may impact on a parent's ability to care for their kids.

This is about people who can't be bothered to feed their children properly because they are too busy. Busy doing what, I wonder?

morethanpotatoprints Tue 08-Jan-13 19:12:06

exBrighton.

Totally agree. Children at breakfast club receive a meal paid for by the parents. The report concerns those leaving home and arriving at school having had no breakfast, which is totally unacceptable

Hobbitation Tue 08-Jan-13 19:12:50

Being busy isn't an excuse. If it's an older child such as a teenager choosing not to eat in the morning that's different. Once DD1 went to school without breakfast as she faffed around so much choosing what to have, then complained I'd made the wrong thing and wouldn't eat it, and by then there wasn't time to make anything else. She only did it the one time though!

WorraLiberty Tue 08-Jan-13 19:13:25

I wonder how it's being funded? Out of the school budget or by the LA?

Either way it's quite likely the pupils will have to go without something else in order to fund it...and all because some people can't find time to feed their own kids.

NatashaBee Tue 08-Jan-13 19:15:43

YANBU. It's the most important meal of the day, if you don't eat breakfast then you're probably going from 7pm-12 noon the following day without food - that's 17 hours! There's no need to cook a full fryup or homemade porridge - even a slice of malt loaf, toast, fruit or a yogurt to eat in the car is better than nothing.

fuzzpig Tue 08-Jan-13 19:17:07

Agree with you OP. just being busy is not an excuse.

StuffezLaBouche Tue 08-Jan-13 19:17:23

Worra - I believe the piece this morning said the local council have funded £700k sad

WorraLiberty Tue 08-Jan-13 19:20:13

Oh blimey

While that's good of the council, I wonder at what cost to whom? sad

WilsonFrickett Tue 08-Jan-13 19:21:04

I haven't seen the article but there's two types of breakfast club, isn't there? One where parents drop their kids off early at school to have breakfast, in our old school that was primarily used by working parents. They paid for it too. A DF of mine, for example, started work half an hour before school so she would drop her DC off there, he'd have his breakfast and a play, everyone was happy.

I've also heard of breakfast clubs in areas where there's a lot of chaotic lifestyles and kids otherwise wouldn't get fed.

TBH I don't see how either of these are bad things (for the kids) and suspect my DF would have described herself as 'busy' too. She was busy earning the roof over her kid's head, actually.

StuffezLaBouche Tue 08-Jan-13 19:21:09

"I don't often eat breakfast because I come from a large family and it can be rushed and a bit chaotic in the morning helping the little ones," said Tammy Lea Tyrell, 10, admitting she had really enjoyed it.

FFS - that is NOT her job!!!

MrsMelons Tue 08-Jan-13 19:22:20

The breakfast club at our DCs school is for working parents and the children go in really early and have their breakfast there. We have to pay at DS2s school but breakfast is included and DS1 has to take in his own breakfast which is fine and we still pay for the care. Neither boys like to eat immediately after getting up so it works perfectly for us when we use it.

It is in no way because we can't be bothered at all because we are busy, it is awful if that is really the case, there is no excuse if it is because the parents can't get up half hour earlier.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Tue 08-Jan-13 19:23:34

apparantly Worra the same council has recently announced staff cuts. Will try and find a link.

exBrightonBell Tue 08-Jan-13 19:23:34

Seeing as they're offering it to all pupils, what do the pupils do who have had a decent breakfast? Have a second breakfast? I'm not sure what I would think if I was a parent in that situation.

nokidshere Tue 08-Jan-13 19:24:07

It doesn't matter how busy or not busy I am, one of my sons just doesn't do breakfast. He takes extra food to eat at first break which is around 10ish I think. I have tried over the years but he just doesn't want to eat so early.

Surprised st people forcing their children to eat breakfast whn they don't want to, mind

It is a three month programme paid for by the LA, it is hoped to be extended to other areas.

Blackpool is an area of high deprivation, so that is why it has been chosen.

The scheme is universal so not to stigmitise "certain" pupils.

It looks like the BBC has worked to not make this about poverty or neglect, so it won't put anyone off using the scheme.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Tue 08-Jan-13 19:26:20
Hobbitation Tue 08-Jan-13 19:26:22

I suppose it depends if it saves money in other areas. E.g. What are the outcomes for the children? Does it mean they are better nourished so do better at school so go on to do better than their parents? Therefore saving money on benefits, NHS, police.

If you cut services upfront it can seem to save money at first but someone picks up the pieces down the line, usually police, NHS, prisons, social services and it can end up costing more. And that's just looking at it from the financial side.

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 19:26:32

Blackpool council is giving all 12,000 of its primary pupils free breakfast for three months in a trial.

Its on the list for most deprived areas in UK.

MrsMelons Tue 08-Jan-13 19:26:41

The only bad thing I can see about it is the fact that the parents who are not giving their DCs breakfast are not actually paying for it - I assume the LA is which is really not acceptable!

DoItToJulia Tue 08-Jan-13 19:27:12

I don't understand why people who use breakfast clubs are being defensive about this. The OP, piece on this morning and subsequent posts are not attacking the use of breakfast clubs. In fact, breakfast clubs were not mentioned until somebody defended their use. Read the thread.

The lead on the funding has come from the EU, to do with the health of people living in deprived regions.

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