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?

shockers Thu 10-Jan-13 20:17:00

I used to work in a school in Blackpool, where the scheme is being piloted (not the school shown on the news though). I used to make porridge for at least 3 children in my class every day. They brought themselves to school, mostly without a coat, even in winter, and quite often had not eaten anything but sweets for tea the night before. SS are stretched in Blackpool, there is an awful lot of child neglect in certain areas there. One boy once brought three 10p packets of crisps for his lunch ... bought on the way to school with money he had found in his mum's coat pocket sad

I just don't get when it became a matter off - it's ok school will do it! They feed our children at lunch they provide snacks they change their clothes of they get wet or dirty etc. the one thing parents have to do and some can't either be bothered to do that?

Then they all come on hear and moan that the teachers aren't teaching. Well how can they when they are busy doing our jobs as well as trying to do theirs.

I know so many people who work their arses off to arrange /afford breakfast clubs etc to ensure that if they aren't home to
Feed them then someone is. I bet many are pissed off at forking out the money or dragging them round their every morning only to find out they coulda just not bothered and school will sort it.

Thank god they do, for the sake of those poor children who's parents are too busy to feed them even one meals day!

CheerfulYank Thu 10-Jan-13 18:36:08

Yes to breakfast clubs being different.

DS is another one who shuns breakfast...I have to stand over him saying "just a few bites!" while he gets stroppy. In the summertime he would often not eat until after 10. When he starts full time school next year I may enroll him in the breakfast club because he can eat a bit later.

I'm just really not comfortable forcing him to eat, but I can't send him to preschool with nothing in his tummy. Though they do have a good snack around 9:30.

shock BunFagFreddie - My DC would kill for waffles for breakfast on a school day (with or without ice cream). That's a weekend/holiday with Mummy in an exceptionally good mood option in this household.

mindingalongtime Thu 10-Jan-13 18:22:46

One of my colleagues little one arrives with the crust of a deep pan pizza on many mornings, another ( 2 year old) had a cold McDonalds in her lunch box, c/m removed it gave her a proper lunch and handed it back to the parent at pick up time, the parent couldn't see what the problem was! C/m now provides lunch and charges for it.

(I have always provided lunch as I want them to eat the same and healthily)

mynameisnowsonicthehedgehog Thu 10-Jan-13 18:18:16

This morning I took a freecycle item I had kindly offerred to deliver to someone... it was around 815 am.

I knocked but she didn't hear me, so went round the front, she said she hadn't heard me as they were having breakfast, there were two small children sitting on the sofa with a bag of monster munch and big bag of haribos each!

mindingalongtime Thu 10-Jan-13 18:18:14

colditz, I'd love to give them all breakfast but as they ALL arrive late, it is impossible for me to do so, it is a mad scramble to get them in the car as it is and quite honestly I don't really want all the hassle, but really worry about the children.

I worry that some of them don't seem to drink anything all day either, they get an inch of water in their cups at lunch time, I make them drink a glass of water when they come after school before they eat anything!

BunFagFreddie Thu 10-Jan-13 17:42:58

Breakfast clubs at any school are a great idea, especially for working parents. DS prefered the breakfast club, and shunned my breakfasts at home. I suspect that was because they served food that I wouldn't have. They laid on waffles and icecream on a Thursday. shock Also, he had friends who went, so naturally he didn't want to miss out.

Maybe these parents who are too busy could just send their DC along to breakfast club and pay like everyone else does?

colditz Thu 10-Jan-13 17:34:40

Minding, if I were you, I would be serving breakfast every day to every child who came without breakfast!

I would also amend my contract to make it clear I would be charging £10 per child, per breakfast, per day.

mindingalongtime Thu 10-Jan-13 13:57:09

Many of my minded children frequently arrive without having had anything, not even a drink of water and then I m expected to provide breakfast and feed 6 of them in 15 minutes before I go on the school run.

Mums say, "oh can you give them a bit of breakfast" so I say the only cereal I have is porridge and they say Oh they won't eat porridge - uh, so feed them at home!

They say the children have been up since 6.00am - 2 hours, so why haven't they had breakfast??

It is certainly not a money issue, with my families!

Adversecamber Thu 10-Jan-13 13:45:52

I am coming from the abused child perspective, or as people often say to be kind a chaotic family.

Well my Mum never gave us breakfast and quite often once we fell through the free school dinners net no money for lunch either. We did generally get something for dinner though I know for a fact my elder sisters got no food at all sometimes.They both have eating disorders now.

It was nothing to do with being disorganised or late or dc not fancying breakfast it was because she was abusive and did not care about her dc.

I missed this report but funnily enough when MIL stayed at Christmas she asked why I didn't eat breakfast when I got up I explained I had to be awake for quite a while as I was just not used to eating due to never being given food as a child in the morning, she just could not even begin to understand.

A lot of this is hidden though, people can see bruises on dc but not this.

I wholeheartedly support breakfast clubs, my experience is rare but will still be happening to some poor child somewhere.

rollmopses Thu 10-Jan-13 12:24:57

For many, eating an early breakfast is a task near impossible (myself included), DT1 has serious difficulties eating before 10am. However, breakfast he eats, every day, at 7am. Often with dear Mummy hovering over him with stories of how the particular concoction on offer would make him much smarter/faster/tRex-like/etc/etc. We always get there eventually.
Takes a lot of effort and time on my part, yet I wouldn't dream of letting DTs leave without proper meal.
[stern Mummy]

Well it was first day back for my DC today, and DD flipping nearly ended up eating in the car how can a 6yo spend SO long in the shower? but in the end they both ate breakfast, I didn't shout, and we got to school on time. It won't last grin.

Pigsmummy Thu 10-Jan-13 11:37:51

There is a difference between dropping your child off to breakfast club where you know that they going get food and dropping them off at school time not fed. There is no excuse for the latter. Toast or cereal bar on route is fine.

KatyPeril Thu 10-Jan-13 11:04:49

Completely off topic, but to all those people that said they can't eat breakfast in the morning because of sickness, what the hell is that? I thought I was the only one!

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Thu 10-Jan-13 10:52:07

My lo doesn't like breakfast straight away but likes an elevenses! Dreading school on that one!

MrsKeithRichards Thu 10-Jan-13 10:44:00

I love seeing people looking beyond their own norm, seeing past their own capabilities and entertaining the possibility that something that is so easy and normal to them might not be for everyone. Yes breakfast is easy, everyone should eat it, no excuse harrumph harrumph etc etc. I agree. But it doesn't take much imagination to consider the whys.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Thu 10-Jan-13 10:33:27

Yadnbu!
There is absolutely NO excuse for this, poor, rich, working or not working.

It takes a few minutes and not a lot of money to prepare cereal/toast/bagel/fruit&yog

It's unbelievable that mums & dad are so lazy & bone idle that they can't provide something so simple yet so important for their children.
Lazy pure lazy and neglectful.

JeeanieYuss Thu 10-Jan-13 07:27:59

Lol, not a prob Astley : )

flow4 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:43:54

Ages ago there was a thread about getting up early - adults, not children - where there seemed to be a clear divide between 'early birds' and 'night owls'... And a clear sense among some that getting up early was morally superior to getting up later. I think I see the same idea repeated here... hmm

Some of the families who don't manage breakfast might be 'lazy', but I bet most of them are either working shifts, or are 'night owls'. Our school system favours people who like early mornings, and our family has always found it hard (And yeah linerunner, that was probably us you passed on your way back from the school run!)

Personally, I would prefer school and work to start at midday, and run on til 6 or 8pm, and then DS2 and I would be able to stomach breakfast before we set off! In Singapore (where I taught for a year) most schools run in two 'shifts' because the population is so high: half the children attend from 7am 'til noon and half attend from 1pm 'til 6pm (and all of them can have lunch between noon and 1pm) - I'd welcome a similar system here. smile

ReindeerBollocks Wed 09-Jan-13 16:44:08

Lljkk - I suggested milkshakes. For parnts who do want to feed their child before school but the child isn't that hungry.
Liquid is sometimes easier to get down.

Also most cereals are high in sugar/salt so maybe a milkshake would be a better alternative to that. (FWIW DC1 is on a high fat/high sodium diet so its irrelevant to my DC anyway).

halcyondays Wed 09-Jan-13 15:06:49

Yanbu. I am terrible in the mornings but even the world's busiest (laziest?) person can surely manage to shake some cereal into a bowl.

Dahlen Wed 09-Jan-13 14:52:44

Even if it is down to lazy parenting, what can anyone do about that apart from judge? Judging doesn't put food in those children's stomachs.

lljkk Wed 09-Jan-13 14:12:50

cereal bars...
try milkshakes
I gave up the struggle ... and now let them eat the sugar filled crap cereal they like

All of those are sugary junk food options*. I'd get DS to drink a cup of milk if he'd have even that, but impossible when he's in a mood... (sigh). I'm not at all blaming anyone who feels forced to go down those routes to send them in with something in stomach (including crisps), but I can't do it; most of mine most of the time will eat healthier options for breakfast and I'd like to keep things that way. DC would all eat pure junk if on offer. I will feed them sausage rolls if they'll have them, mind, am not food police.

*I know someone will retort by citing the tiny number of brands of truly non-sugary cereal bars and clarify that they meant their own lovingly hand-made home-made milkshake with only the tiniest bit of added honey, but my kids wouldn't eat those enthusiastically either.

LimburgseVlaai Wed 09-Jan-13 13:44:49

From the age of 6 I never wanted to eat breakfast before school. I always preferred to stay in bed a bit longer. It wasn't my mother who was lazy, it was me.

Then, when I went to secondary school, I didn't like packed lunches either (no school dinners available). So very often, the only food I had during the day was a pear or a carrot; then when I got home at 3.30 or so I'd cook myself some pasta or a cupasoup to tide me over until the family meal.

I still find now that I can go most of the day without food if I'm busy or don't feel like breakfast. I just don't think having three meals a day is that crucial. The 'breakfast is essential' thing is a fairly recent convention - say the last 100 years or less.

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