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?

Jinsei Tue 08-Jan-13 18:34:18

YADNBU! Our life often feels very hectic, but some things are essential, and breakfast is one of them! Being busy is no excuse at all!

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 08-Jan-13 18:35:24

YANBU I would be late rather then let my dc go out with no food.

BigShinyBaubles Tue 08-Jan-13 18:35:43

YANBU at all!! There is absolutely no excuse for not giving your children breakfast.

I read this today and was really shocked. I can't believe that it has become accepted that parents don't feed their children. Breakfast is such a cheap meal. No one is honestly too busy or too poor to give their child a basic breakfast. This is neglect, pure and simple and it shocks me that an entire local authority should regard it as an acceptable fact of life.

MumOfTheMoos Tue 08-Jan-13 18:35:53

YANBU - it's shocking isn't it? I mean shelter and food are the first things a parent should be providing - what else are the spending their morning doing? Why not get up earlier?

Still, I understand the school doing this; teaching hungry kids, even if its only one or two is pretty disruptive for the whole class.

marquesas Tue 08-Jan-13 18:36:47

I haven't seen the woman on the news but I suppose there will be people who don't get up early enough to get everything done in time and use being too busy as a reason rather than admitting to disorganisation or lazyiness.

exBrightonBell Tue 08-Jan-13 18:37:48

Thing is, the mum seemed otherwise to be very nice and their home was also nice, but I was surprised at her attitude. I know that people are often busy with shift work and perhaps more than one job, but really your children should be your focus.

Gumby Tue 08-Jan-13 18:38:22

It's not a new thing sadly
10 years a school I volunteered in that was in a sure start area offered a breakfast club free
They said children weren't getting healthy breakfasts or any at all sad

lashingsofbingeinghere Tue 08-Jan-13 18:38:37

I agree. Just get up earlier, or, gasp, set everything out the night before.

Boring but it does work (speaks from experience both as former WOHM and child of WOHM).

Gumby Tue 08-Jan-13 18:39:39

Come on though

Who hasn't chucked their kid a cereal bar or piece of toast in the back of the car on the way to school

Just not every day though

cory Tue 08-Jan-13 18:39:44

To be fair, there are some children who really struggle to eat first thing in the morning. Dd simply used to throw up. My mum was the same, always has been. They both feel sick if they have to get up very early or eat before a certain time, regardless of how early they went to bed. Dd's solution is to have a snack at first break. It's not laziness: I used to get up two hours before she had to leave, spend an hour getting her out of bed and then mop her breakfast off the floor.

AThingInYourLife Tue 08-Jan-13 18:40:19

A while ago on MN there was a whole thread of people saying it was fine to get your children up too late for breakfast.

There were two dissenters, of which I was one.

exBrightonBell Tue 08-Jan-13 18:40:39

I get that poverty and/or neglect (e.g. parents that can't look after themselves let alone their kids) can be reasons for not giving a child breakfast. But being too busy? It's just too depressing that this is acceptable as a parenting style.

StuffezLaBouche Tue 08-Jan-13 18:41:48

I saw the piece this morning and thought two things.
1) I am really glad that the children in that school will now begin school with full bellies.
2) Yet again, it is money being spent because some parents cannot be arsed to look after their children.

beamme Tue 08-Jan-13 18:41:59

YANBU, I work in a school and we get this all the time, totally disgusting. Both myself and DH work and leave the house at 7:30am. DC's are up by 6:40am and always have cereal, fruit and toast if they want.

Busy, no excuse. Genuinely chaotic, poor or ill (esp mental health), more understandable.

My children have certainly had toast or fruit or malt loaf en route to school before!

Amytheflag Tue 08-Jan-13 18:42:06

YANBU. It would take ten minutes to give them something. What's ten minutes earlier getting up in the grand scheme of things?

Nothing wrong with a cereal bar or bit of toast on the way to school though. My dd isn't hungry til she's been awake for an hour. If she sleeps in she eats on the way to school. I wouldn't dream of not feeding her at all though.
I once worked in an independent school where parents were loaded but too 'busy' and sometimes didn't supervise any of their teenagers' meals. Cue teenagers starving themselves without their parents noticing, teenagers living entirely on microwave meals.
Lazy not busy is more truthful

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 08-Jan-13 18:43:12

Cereal bar in the back of the car is still breakfast, just not the best one grin

A few times I have marched dc to school while they've been eating breakfast biscuits a frube and carton of orange juice. Doesn't happen anymore as I actually get up 6am now but I used to Really struggle when I first started the school run. Didn't mean if let them stave till break though!

Figgyroll Tue 08-Jan-13 18:44:03

YANBU. The breakfast club at our school was set up for children whose parents couldn't be arsed bothered to give them any food and it was initially funded on the basis of the amount of children who had free school meals but it is overrun with children with working parents who spend their lives rushing here, there and everywhere and would appear far too busy to give their children a breakfast.

bedmonster Tue 08-Jan-13 18:44:07

My mum never gave me breakfast. She worked close to where we lived so my brother and I got ourselves up, dressed and off to school. No breakfast. She didn't even get up to make sure we were on time. This was when we were 5 and 7. It's sheer laziness. She is exactly the same now with my sister, 14. Thankfully I live on her route to school so she stops in at mine and has breakfast with my dds.
I still find it unbelievable that some people can't be arsed to provide something so important yet also very basic.

noisytoys Tue 08-Jan-13 18:45:00

Last year DD was in the afternoon session at nursery 12-3pm. One I her friends didn't get fed at home at all because the nursery had an unlimited snacks table so the child had to fill up there hmm it wasn't even due to lack of money. It seemed that cigarettes, alcohol and nail extensions were all more of a priority than feeding the children sad

Lilithmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 18:46:09

I'm quite surprised by these reactions. I work full time so my DD goes to breakfast club before school starts. The clue is in the name!
Getting her up earlier would mean a very early start for her and me and she would still need to go to breakfast club and then either eat breakfast again or watch everyone else eat breakfast.
I suppose she could skip breakfast club and stay till really late at after school club but for us it works better to go in a bit early and leave a bit later rather then go in very early and finish at 3.20 or go in a 8.40 but finish at 6.00ish.

rubyslippers Tue 08-Jan-13 18:46:24

One thing really irked me in the report which was that they named checked working mums only as the reason kids may skip breakfast

Surely it's a familial responsibility

I WOH - children are worken if not awake by 7 so we all eat breakfast together

If necessary they do sandwiches on the way but that the exception

akaemmafrost Tue 08-Jan-13 18:46:40

I have never done that Gumby not being smug just answering your question.

Breakfast is non negotiable here.

However my Mum never gave us breakfast as children but then she also left me in sole charge of my four year old sister when I was aged 9. I still wouldn't call her a neglectful parent though I think it was just what she was used to growing up as a fifties child from an extremely impoverished background. Maybe these parents are just used to no breakfast because of their own upbringings. Not that that makes it ok, just looking for reasons.

ZZZenAgain Tue 08-Jan-13 18:48:39

Well if you are really really rushed in the morning, I could imagine it is difficult to fit it in with a lot of dc and so on and leaving the house extra early perhaps but surely most dc can pour some cereal and milk in a bowl or peel a banana, or maybe grab an apple and a glass of milk if their parents are so busy they cannot manage to do anything. It sounds strange to me. It could be the dc are fussy eaters or don't want to eat so early and trying to get them to do it takes up a lot of time the parents don't feel they have.

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 08-Jan-13 18:48:47

Lilith I don't think it's about going to school early for breakfast club for child care, more it's children going to school at the normal time and not being fed first. Otherwise I'd be a bad mum to mine go 3x a week and love it.

SuffolkNWhat Tue 08-Jan-13 18:49:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PessaryPam Tue 08-Jan-13 18:49:28

Yes the lazy cow should get up earlier so she would have time to make the kids breakfast. Every smart phone has an alarm function on it now so there is no excuse apart from fecklessness.

ThePlEWhoLovedMe Tue 08-Jan-13 18:49:41

My son goes to breakfast club @8am where they provide him with breakfast. I could give it at home (and have plenty of time!!) but he enjoys eating it at the club - plus I am paying for it so why shouldn't he eat there?

AnnIonicIsoTronic Tue 08-Jan-13 18:49:54

Our kids are sat at the table every morning without fail to a carousel of porridge, cereal, fruit, toast. Dd1 and DS2 are just hopeless. DS1 'll be shovelling food and Dd will just sit and stare at her bowl. I can see why people get demoralised serving a meal that gets ignored.

BacardiNCoke Tue 08-Jan-13 18:49:56

I agree I would rather they be late for school than have no breakfast! But on the other hand, dd2 has to be up for at least an hour before she can eat breakfast. So sometimes even though I've made her breakfast she doesn't always eat it as it makes her feel sick. DD1 on the other hand eats a massive breakfast!

newtonupontheheath Tue 08-Jan-13 18:50:20


Breakfast is the first thing we do in this house. No TV, no playing and before we get dressed. In fact, I think breakfast is the only reason ds gets out if bed!!

When I'm not on mat leave We leave the house at 7:30. I'm looking forward to school because we'll surely have more time in the morning for exciting things like pancakes

ZZZenAgain Tue 08-Jan-13 18:52:00

sometimes it is easier to eat if you have had a drink first but admittedly mornings can be a big rush. I can't eat first thing but I do feel like having soemthing to drink.

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 08-Jan-13 18:52:49

M dc's breakfast club is 7:45 but it's not for parents who can afford to feed their dc it's a paid for extra child care that includes food. I still get them breakfast just paying for it there. Nothing to do with being lazy or not having enough time.

bringonyourwreckingball Tue 08-Jan-13 18:53:14

Mine do occasionally have something in the car on the way to the childminders. We have to leave quite early, they need sleep as well as they need food so it's always a balance. I do prefer them to wake up naturally if they can but if they're not up by a certain time or then they dawdle with getting dressed then breakfast suffers. But the alternative would be getting them out of bed before they're ready - then if everything goes smoothly we're early and they're well breakfasted but tired. They probably have gone without very, very occasionally when we have nothing 'portable' in, we're running late, I absolutely have to get to work and they aren't cooperating.

sausagesandwich34 Tue 08-Jan-13 18:53:18

my dds go to breakfast club at 7.45 and are supposed to have breakfast there -it's part of what I pay for although dd1 doesn't always eat but that's another story

they also go to after school club and get tea at 5pm

so I never feed my children grin

on my days off they get their own now (9&11) so it's not always what you would consider a normal brakfast but it's always something cheese and beans with marmite on crumpets anyone?

Cherriesarelovely Tue 08-Jan-13 18:53:26

I just saw that too and thought it was pathetic.. we are all busy in the mornings, many of us are in a rush to get to work but this is ridiculous. I also thought it was stupid when the woman interveiwed said that she had little enough time so didn't want to waste it falling out with her son over breakfast! What's to fall out about?!

OwlLady Tue 08-Jan-13 18:55:11

mine have always had breakfast and they leave at 7.45 (two of them) BUT I can see how it can be difficult if you are on your own and have other complex situations to not be able to it through rush/lack of time etc (my dd is severely disabled)

i am rubbish anyway. i couldn't get my son to school until 10am and cried like a baby down the phone <bac kinjury, gut infested disabled child off>

Think before you judge

MrsKeithRichards Tue 08-Jan-13 18:55:38

Does a carton of orange and a cereal bar count?

That doesn't happen that often, honest.

I cannot physically go without breakfast. Ds is now the same. I run out of ideas beyond cereal, porridge or toast though.

cory Tue 08-Jan-13 18:57:06

Cherriesarelovely Tue 08-Jan-13 18:53:26
"I just saw that too and thought it was pathetic.. we are all busy in the mornings, many of us are in a rush to get to work but this is ridiculous. I also thought it was stupid when the woman interveiwed said that she had little enough time so didn't want to waste it falling out with her son over breakfast! What's to fall out about?! "

That depends on whether you have a child who enjoys eating in the morning or a child who finds it torture to have to eat in the morning. In our case, the thing to fall out over was whether dd should be forced to continue something that made her vomit or whether we should try to find an alternative solution.

Nuttyprofessor Tue 08-Jan-13 18:59:21

My DS year 7 goes to school without eating breakfast. He ate breakfast before this year but now gets up at 6.15 and travels on the bus to school. He says he cannot eat as he is not awake enough. I would make him anything he wanted but he just doesn't. I have put things in his bag to have on the way but they just come back.

I cannot force him to eat.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 08-Jan-13 18:59:34

This is totally unacceptable on several levels. Firstly how can a LA see this as normal and even the poorest people can afford a cheap breakfast. As for time after about the age of 5 kids can get their own breakfast. Either put serial plastic bowls etc in a low cupboard and milk jug in fridge/table. Mine have all helped themselves.
We are supposed to be teaching our children about economic living, healthy living etc as part of socialisation. I guess now that some parents have relinquished this responsibility PHSE is part of the curriculum for schools to follow. So in this respect the LA sees it as their responsibility now and some parents likewise.

OwlCatMouse Tue 08-Jan-13 18:59:49

DS went to a breakfast club because I left the house at 7am everyday. I could have got up earlier and dragged him out of bed as well, but I thought that would be cruel.

Once school restarts their breakfast club he'll go on the days that I'm working, so DP can get back in time to start work.

We're busy, there's an alternative, and I'd rather he ate proper breakfast than be rushed out the house.

NippyDrips Tue 08-Jan-13 19:03:00

Do those of us who use paid breakfast club child care count as lazy mums? Feeling a little guilty here.

firawla Tue 08-Jan-13 19:03:34

Breakfast club is a bit different, because the parents know they will be getting a breakfast there its not like just sending them in at 9am for class with nothing - wont they feel so hungry, and unable to concentrate and learn?? don't think busy is an excuse for that.

I do give mine toast on the walk to school if we are getting late but that is after they have already sat down and had cereal.

I don't give myself breakfast before dropping off to school cos i dont have time for that (i use their breakfast eating time to finish getting ready) but wouldn't make the dc miss out, can just imagine their outrage if i did tbh, it would be complaints all the way to school - they love their breakfast

MrsKeithRichards Tue 08-Jan-13 19:03:51

Being an avid breakfast muncher I didn't quite believe that there are people who just can't eat in the morning. I've been with dh for 11 years, I've seen him eat breakfast once. He doesn't eat before 10am.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Tue 08-Jan-13 19:04:43


DD occasionally tells me that she isn't hungry. Unfortunately it is tough, she has to eat breakfast before school.

Our routine is:
6.45am - up
6.45-7am - laze around/wake up (DD, Im normally in the kitchen doing lunch/putting a wash load in)
7-7.15 - breakfast made argued over
7.15-7.35 - breakfast eaten
7.35-8.15 am - washed and dressed for school
8.30 - leave house.

Looks so easy written down and like it's lots of time, but it is always hectic. If DD is on a 'I'm not eating' morning then I make her get dressed when she would normally eat breakfast. This tends to wake her up enough to jump start her appetite.

I have, in the past, done the school run while she munched on a banana and one time a packet of crisps! This was a one off and during my MH problems, I have always been obsessed with her getting a decent brekkie otherwise.

When we are running late, which happens occasionally, I will go without breakfast but always make sure she has it.

There is no reason IMO (with the exception for illness/MH problems/and separately, those children suffering neglect) for a parent to not provide a child with food.

exBrightonBell Tue 08-Jan-13 19:07:55

Breakfast clubs are not at all the same as what was being referred to in the news article. I'm not having a dig at people that use these - it's a childcare choice, one which I would use myself if I needed to. I also agree that everyone has occasional disaster mornings. But this school has had to accept that the majority of pupils do not have breakfast for the majority of the time - this is what I find astonishing.

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


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.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Tue 08-Jan-13 19:27:39

*sorry, I'm listening to media hype. The council has made cutbacks, but not necessarily at the cost of funding this scheme.

exBrightonBell Tue 08-Jan-13 19:27:57

WilsonFrickett, the type of breakfast club that is paid for by parents is a completely different kettle of fish. Parents who use them are providing breakfast for their children. That is a childcare choice which I completely respect. It's sending your child to school at 9am without breakfast because you were too busy that I have a problem with.

mrsjay Tue 08-Jan-13 19:29:20

yanbu but at least the chlldren are getting fed I live near a primary and some of the kids breakfast as they walk past is a packet of crisps , It doesn't take long to pour a bowl of cereal does it,

NippyDrips Tue 08-Jan-13 19:29:40

I feel better now, thanks. I agree that making no provision of food whatsoever in the morning is not on. I couldn't concentrate at work untill lunch time with nothing to eat so couldn't possibly expect my dc to.

Ds2 has days where he doesn't want breakfast. He always has something though even if it's fruit or yoghurt or a cereal bar as I know full well he would be moaning long before break time that he was starving

I assume the LA is which is really not acceptable

No different than what is funded in Surestart etc in terms of healthy eating and courses on health.

It is probably cheaper than putting a few of the children under CAF's etc.

WorraLiberty Tue 08-Jan-13 19:30:57

Ahh thanks for the links Brian

Yes, I have no idea why people are defending their use of breakfast clubs either, that's not what this thread is about and both the title and OP makes it clear confused

mrsjay Tue 08-Jan-13 19:31:55

Yes, I have no idea why people are defending their use of breakfast clubs either, that's not what this thread is about and both the title and OP makes it clear

^ ^ that, nobody said anything about breakfast clubs and the users of,

WilsonFrickett Tue 08-Jan-13 19:32:21

I've read the article now. I completely understand why someone on the tv saying they were too busy to feed their kids would get people riled, I really do, it's a disgrace. But so is the fact that so many kids are going to school hungry, and I think it's great the council is doing something about it. Although it's a sticking plaster, isn't it? But the quote that older kids are more likely to have used tobacco or alcohol than seen breakfast in the last week - I mean, come on, that's a fucking disgrace. I know it should be down to parents to fix this but it's the children who are suffering.

TandB Tue 08-Jan-13 19:34:00

I suppose it depends on how old her children are and what was actually said. If they are teenagers who simply can't be bothered to get out of bed in time to pour themselves a bowl of cereal, and if every morning descends into a screaming row because they start moaning that they are hungry the second she tries to get them out of the door, then there may be some merit in saying she doesn't have time to have an argument about it. She may have said something like this and been edited to sound as though she was just a lazy, feckless arse.

If they are three then she really needs to sort herself out. I fairly regularly have an argument with DS1 about the speed which he thinks it is appropriate to eat cereal. DS2 (just turned 1) flatly refuses to eat breakfast until he has enjoyed a leisurely bottle and about 45 minutes civilised digestion time. He therefore gets loaded in the car minus breakfast and gets it at nursery at 8am. By which time he is of course trying to convince everyone he hasn't been fed for a week. I also found out recently that DS1 fairly regularly tells pre-school that he hasn't had breakfast in order to cadge a second one. I only found this out when he finished the box of cereal I took in for the rare occasion when he goes to the early breakfast club, and they asked me for some more!

The council has made cutbacks, but not necessarily at the cost of funding this scheme.

The EU gives funding for schemes in deprived areas, that is what has happened.

The cutbacks are down to a change in government.

They are not connected and have nothing to do with each other.

The EU starts various health inititives and stuff around lifestyle, not everything is started by our Government.

alistron1 Tue 08-Jan-13 19:36:29

There are many families who can't afford cereal, milk to gone it, bread and cereal bars. There are families who can't afford to make toast or boil an egg because their electricity meter has run out and they can't afford more tokens. There are families whose last loaf of bread might have gone mouldy or something, and they don't have the funds to replace it.

There are a lot of hungry children out there.

Astley Tue 08-Jan-13 19:36:57

Morrisons corn flakes are 19p a box. I refuse to accept anyone with children cannot afford to give their child anything for breakfast.

NippyDrips Tue 08-Jan-13 19:37:47

I wondered about breakfast clubs because some posters said that people should get up earlier to make sure their children didn't leave the house without eating.
Crossed wires on my part.. not that I have a working mum guilt complex or anything.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 08-Jan-13 19:40:16

I suppose it makes some posters here feel so good about themselves but what of the children that can't/won't eat in the mornings? I was one - and still never eat breakfast. Would you smugly accuse my mother of negliect?

What is this gleeful trouncing all about really? Does it ever do anything useful?

It is being extended to areas of London, if you don't think that there is a need to make sure that children can achieve academically by giving them a free breakfast, then email your MP.

Those working with Children and Families, know that there is a need and why.

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 19:42:16

Astley yes they are but the milk is 96p a litre.

if you have two children that won't last more than a day or two.

Lilithmoon Tue 08-Jan-13 19:42:43

NippyDrips... you and me both grin.

exBrightonBell Tue 08-Jan-13 19:47:07

Lyingwitchinthewardrobe, I'm not trying to trounce anybody or accuse people of neglect. I am trying to understand why it now seems acceptable to send children to school (at normal time, not to a breakfast club) without breakfast. The way the BBC piece presented it was that it is an ok thing to do if your mornings are too busy. I am sure there are many busy parents who do make sure their children eat breakfast so I was surprised at this attitude from the mum they interviewed.

The whole of MN should be shut down if you don't think it's ok to have a discussion!

alistron1 Tue 08-Jan-13 19:47:41

If you live on a sink estate where your nearest big supermarket is a bus ride away you won't be able to get those cheap cornflakes. Being poor costs more.

Astley Tue 08-Jan-13 19:47:49

If they drink milk. My DC hardly ever drink milk, so a 4 pint carton from Morrisons costs a £ and lasts all week.

96p a litre is rubbish! If you actually look around you can always get at least 2 litres for a pound. Poundland do it, Doscount Bargains do it and Morrisons do 2.2 litres for a pound as do Asda. I'm sure there are more but I'm just doing the shops near my house.

LineRunner Tue 08-Jan-13 19:48:04

Breakfast Clubs mean that you are making sure your child eats breakfast. That's great. That's the opposite of the problem.

The 'problem' is the lazy-arse parents who do not make any arrangements at all for their child to have any kind of breakfast, not even a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of orange juice; or, if they simply cannot eat first thing, to have a drink and a snack in their bag for first break.

Astley Tue 08-Jan-13 19:49:23

So how would you shop at all? Surely you only need to get the bus once a week, and a box of cornflakes is not exactly backbreakingly heavy is it?!

SkiBumMum Tue 08-Jan-13 19:49:29

FiggyRoll's comment above (18.44) was fairly critical of working parents using breakfast clubs. I assume it triggered the wave of justification posts.

MrsMelons Tue 08-Jan-13 19:49:29

Lying I was the same and never really had breakfast but not because my mum couldn't be bothered. My DCs are the same but I manage to time it on the days they have breakfast at home that it is the last thing they do before brushing their teeth.

I am not sure what the stats are on people who truly cannot afford to give their DCs breakfast but if that is the case then it is truly shocking and there should be something in place to help them.

I am not sure I agree with giving children free breakfast to make up for parents not being bothered but I also do agree that it is unfair on the children that are not being fed properly, why should they suffer. Its actually quite a similar situation to the fact the LA needs to provide toothbrushes at schools as well now.

I did misunderstand the intent of some of the posters like Nippy has said. The OP does not actually make it that clear - it could be perceived that I am too busy on my early work days to feed the DCs as we are out the house so early but it is not the case.

FiggyRoll. - I am a working mum who 2 days a week takes her daughter to breakfast club at school and so in your words 'would appear far too busy to give their children a breakfast'.

I am not far too busy to give my child breakfast, I am using a childcare facility available to me (childminder/nursery being alternative options) and working hours that enable me to minimise the number of days I work, thereby maximising the number of days I can be at home to provide breakfast at a decent time in the morning and also so that I don't have to wake her at 6.15 am in order to fit breakfast in at home on the 2 days I am leaving for work at 7.30.

Works for us, generalisations not required.

MrsMelons Tue 08-Jan-13 19:51:54

Astley it is £1 for a litre = 2 pints!

SoftKittyWarmKitty Tue 08-Jan-13 19:53:33

I saw this on Daybreak this morning and think it's a disgrace that parents don't feed their kids breakfast purely because they can't be arsed. If your child can't eat that early but you provide them a snack for break time, that's one thing. So is a child care style breakfast club. But if a parent is just too lazy to get up early enough or is too 'disorganised' to feed their DC in the morning, that's not acceptable. Makes you wonder if they get fed on weekend mornings.

DS and I love breakfast. I find a decent breakfast stops me from snacking on crap mid-morning, which must be the same for kids too. Even if we're running late, we still eat. I can't think of any occasion when we didn't eat breakfast. Not being smug, just stating a fact.

And the cost of running the breakfast clubs in that LA - something else must have lost out to fund that. I mean, how hard is it to give your DC toast and juice, ffs?

Astley Tue 08-Jan-13 19:58:28

MrsMelons, it's really not, I only bought it 20 minutes ago and it quite clearly says 4' pints and cost me a pound.

exBrightonBell Tue 08-Jan-13 19:59:42

Birdsgottafly, I agree that those who need it should get a free breakfast at school, much like they get a free lunch. But i have a few thoughts about how to implement it, and I'm not sure that the way being trialled in Blackpool is ideal. I also think that parents who are not generally chaotic and neglectful need to understand that they are responsible for ensuring their child has a suitable breakfast.

At some point schools cannot continue to take on parenting responsibilities for all children. Otherwise they will eventually turn into children's homes.

MrsMelons Tue 08-Jan-13 20:02:14

Where do you live? THATS IT I'm bloody moving grin

I think we may occasionally have offers for 2 for £2 but usually 2 for £3 so about £1 for 2 pints, £1.50 for 4.

Hmmm - I need to be deal searching more!!

Notcontent Tue 08-Jan-13 20:03:27

I think providing free breakfast is just a quick fix and not addressing the bigger issue, which is a lack of parenting skills. As others have said, breakfast is a really cheap meal to make. You can make porridge in the microwave for only a few pence a serve. There are so many other cheap options.

I am a lone parent who works. I am also not a morning person. But from the time my dd started school I instigated a routine which involves breakfast. When she was in reception I sometimes had to coax her to just have a few mouthfuls of her breakfast. But there is absolutely no way I would have let her go to school without any breakfast.

Astley Tue 08-Jan-13 20:04:05

Scotland grin

alistron1 Tue 08-Jan-13 20:04:07

Astley, it's a pretty well documented fact that areas of deprivation are not well served by the big/cheap supermarkets. Yes, there are such things as buses, and even taxi's - but they cost money. And someone who is on a very limited income can not afford to hop on a bus to take advantage of a 19p box of cornflakes.

Factor in the issue that single parents might have a baby or a toddler or two in tow - it makes it very difficult to take advantage of economy of scale/offers if you are transporting kids plus a weeks worth of shopping home on the bus.

This isn't woolly leftie liberalism, this isn't an argument plucked out of thin air - people in areas of deprivation are often locked in to buying food from more expensive smaller stores. This in turn means that people can't afford healthy options like fresh meat, fruit or vegetables. And it leaves them screwed if they run of out essential items before their next money is due.

In the same way that people are locked into prepayment meters for energy. it's more expensive than a direct debit - and if you run out of electricity on a sunday night, but your child benefit isn't due until Tuesday morning you can't make toast/porridge or boil an egg.

It is a fact that families (and thus children) are going hungry - look at the expansion of food banks over the past 12 months.

I think people typing away saying stuff like 'Breakfast is non negotiable' 'I can't believe that people can't afford breakfast' and 'let them eat 19p boxes of cornflakes' really don't have a grasp on the severe deprivation that increasing numbers of children are living in.

And if some lazy, busy parents take advantage of the free breakfasts, so what? We are allegedly a civilised society - surely we should applaud any initiative that seeks to feed hungry children.

MrsMelons Tue 08-Jan-13 20:06:48

exBrighton I agree, I know a lot of posters on here have got upset about the way schools are starting to 'parent' their children and I agree to an extent but if my DCs get to brush their teeth an additional time each day to help that child who never gets to brush their teeth at all or are offered an extra meal but I feel sad that there could be other much needed things a school could and should be funding and NOT basic parenting stuff.

MrsMelons Tue 08-Jan-13 20:07:37

Well I am about as far away from Scotland as is possible in the UK so maybe not a practical move envy

Astley Tue 08-Jan-13 20:07:38

Ummm I live in Scotland's apprently most deprived area. And it takes me 7 minutes to walk to Morrisons. I'm also walking distance from a Poundland, Discount Baragains and a massive Co Op.

Jinsei Tue 08-Jan-13 20:13:15

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.

That's a good point, birds, I hadn't thought of it from that point of view. I'm certainly not against schools providing breakfast for kids who need it, and I wouldn't want any child to feel stigmatised. I was just shock at the idea that anyone might genuinely think being busy was a valid reason not to feed their child!

shayshaysmum Tue 08-Jan-13 20:18:21

How would you know that 'noisytoys'?
Why where you privvy to someone elses childs business?

mynameisnowsonicthehedgehog Tue 08-Jan-13 20:18:59

I have a son with Autism and it takes him over an hour in the morning to eat his breakfast in the morning, so we get up really early to allow him enough time. My other son eats his in around 10 minutes. Yes, it's frustrating to keep getting him back to the table every 5 minutes, but feeding my child is my job, no one elses!

expatinscotland Tue 08-Jan-13 20:21:09

I saw that and was shocked, too. Too busy. Give me a fucking break! Ignorant and lazy. There was sadly a little girl on that segment whose family's excuse was she was from a large family. Why have more kids than you can look after?

A cereal bar or slice of toast is better than nothing!


DeafLeopard Tue 08-Jan-13 20:24:14

Alistron whilst you make very valid points about things costing more when you are on a limited income, the fact remains that there are parents who prioritise alcohol, fake tans and uggs over feeding their DCs.

I've worked with such families and it is really sad.

FWIW I think that any scheme which improves the lives and future opportunities of children cannot be a bad thing, what concerns me is that this will be at the cost of cuts to other services.

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 20:25:06

I live on a busy road that leads to Manchester.

I am 3.6 miles from a supermarket. It costs £6.40 for a return fare for me and one dc. I don't drive, a taxi would be much more.

I am very reliant on my local shop,

There have been times we have run short, times when dd has had biscuits for breakfast.

LaQueen Tue 08-Jan-13 20:25:40

Too busy in the morning? Then get up 10 feckin minutes earlier. It's not rocket science angry

Or do some people really think that everyone else isn't going to see right through their pathetic excuses, and know that they're just lazy, feckless parents who can't be bothered to get a grip and get their morning routine sorted.

expatinscotland Tue 08-Jan-13 20:26:09

I don't live in a deprived area of Scotland, but a rural one. The walk to the nearest supermarket of any size is 2 miles each way and it's a small Co-Op. There's a corner shop downstairs that's actually reasonably-priced and they sell things to make a decent breakfast.

Being too lazy or ignorant to feed your own child breakfast is pretty pathetic, IMO, and yes, I've suffered severe depression.

shayshaysmum Tue 08-Jan-13 20:26:20

I have skipped part of thread, but if your on about milk 'mrsmelons' then lidls do 4 pinters for a £1.. Bargain!

shayshaysmum Tue 08-Jan-13 20:26:43

Sorry 'MrsMelons'

expatinscotland Tue 08-Jan-13 20:27:49

Here we go with the excuses!

You have kids: you plan and budget and feed them. It's a very, very basic responsibility and though I'm known here for being relatively liberal, if you can't manage such a basic task you really have no business having kids.

LaQueen Tue 08-Jan-13 20:28:55

By the way, my post isn't aimed at the parents with too little money, whose children could genuinely benefit from the free breakfast.

It's aimed at the parents who can afford food, but can't be arsed to give their child breakfast when it means they could stay in bed another 15 minutes and let their child eat at school.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 08-Jan-13 20:29:21

I live in an estate with one shop. 2l of milk is £1.74 I shit you not.

I'm lucky, I have options, I can drive to aldi and get it for 89p or pick it up on the way home from work for £1.

The nearest shop after the rip off one is a 15 minute walk. So I understand that access to reasonably priced goods is a huge factor in how people eat.

MonetsGardens Tue 08-Jan-13 20:30:15

I am a lone parent and I use breakfast clubs on days when I am working. But the kids still have their cereal at home - I can't reconcile taking small children out the door, especially when it's dark and cold, without a bite of food passing their lips. I also need to eat in the morning - and there isn't a breakfast club at work grin

NonnoMum Tue 08-Jan-13 20:30:15

In the deepest darkest winter, I have one child who likes to sleep and sleep. He likes to sleep until 8am (having gone to bed at 7pm) and I need to leave for work at 8am.
Everything has been set out the night before, I often get up at 6am, but sometimes it just doesn't work out...
So, a banana in the car it is then.

shayshaysmum Tue 08-Jan-13 20:32:56

Oh and I'm nowhere near Scotland, so that price is relevant for south-west England.

Or do some people really think that everyone else isn't going to see right through their pathetic excuses, and know that they're just lazy, feckless parents who can't be bothered to get a grip and get their morning routine sorted.

So do we just let children go hungry, now that we are aware that this will affect their outcomes?

A child not eating is easy to hide, this is probably the easist and cheapest way to answer this problem.

LineRunner Tue 08-Jan-13 20:34:26

I have discovered the Tesco delivery charge for £3.50. Much cheaper than a minicab.

A banana in the car / in the child's bag, is fine.

realcoalfire Tue 08-Jan-13 20:39:51

I don't see how you can say you can't afford bread and milk for breakfast.I mean feeding your children is a fundamental, what item of excpenditure would be higher up your list of priorities?

expatinscotland Tue 08-Jan-13 20:40:00

Okay, I live in a place where food is hard to access and more expensive because of the transport costs involved.

So here is what you do: you plan for more of your budget to go on food. Not feeding your child adequately: not an option. I'd gladly go without food before not feeding my children.

mynameisnowsonicthehedgehog Tue 08-Jan-13 20:41:13

Yes and Asda do delivery for £3.00... so the savings you would make by buying value range food rather thanpaying local shop prices would more than cover the delivery charge. Bread and milk both freeze.

Gumby Tue 08-Jan-13 20:42:28

The nearest shop after the rip off one is a 15 minute walk

Nothing really is it, 15 minutes!!

realcoalfire Tue 08-Jan-13 20:43:30

'A banana in the car / in the child's bag, is fine. '

it isn't really -its onlu about 100 calories. If that is all they have between supper at say 7pm the day before and lunch at 12 or 12.30

HappyTurquoise Tue 08-Jan-13 20:49:42

My DD(12) has breakfast at school because she has to leave the house at 7:15 to catch a bus. She has breakfast available at home, or various brioche/toast/fruit on bus options, but prefers to get a bacon roll or sausage or egg at school. (The bus generally arrives 30 minutes before the start of school and she does pay for the food.) She's not a great eater, and although she did eat breakfast at home all through primary school, it was great that the last one she was at offered toast at 20p a slice during morning break, and great that she would eat it. Much better than a piece of mangy fruit that was turned down at previous schools (I can get her to eat fresh fruit at home.)

Astley Tue 08-Jan-13 20:51:38

Shayshaysmum, another poster has already confirmed that it's £1 for 4 pints in Lidl all over the country....

Iggly Tue 08-Jan-13 20:52:41


We both have to get ready for work but still sit down for breakfast with the DCs. Takes 15-20 mins which is a long time but it's nice and means they get a good start to the day.

LineRunner Tue 08-Jan-13 20:54:58

Banana, piece of toast, hot chocolate, milk, juice ...

It's a breakfast.

expatinscotland Tue 08-Jan-13 20:55:08

DD1 did not like to eat in the mornings. It did make her sick. So we worked and worked, she was dyspraxic and a super taster, on a compromise: she had a smoothie for 'breakfast' or she'd go for my oat biscuits and have a good snack at snacktime at 10PM.

But nothing at all? Nope. I was unbelievably loose with her but this was not negotiable.

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 20:56:37

My dc are always fed, the very odd time we have run out they have had biscuits or rice pudding already in the house. This was because when I started a new job I didnt get paid for 7 weeks and it took ages to get tax credits. We lived on £20.30 a week and school dinners were £10. That had to feed us too.

I t drink, smoke, wear make up, no false nails or fake tans. I own one pair of shoes.

I can imagine then there are people on benefits who have it delayed/messed up who end up in this situation.

When I had dc I had them in a long marriage with two secure jobs and incomes. I spent last year as a single parent having fled exh and was then made homeless after landlord went under with mortgage.

im not making excuses, there are people in This country to which shit occurs, if we didnt we wouldn't have food banks.

expatinscotland Tue 08-Jan-13 20:57:48

Again, it's a long way from a decent food shop here, which is a small Co-Op, the weather is often terrible, the public transport dire and expensive, no big supermarket chains, blah blah blah. Is this an excuse not to do the best you can to feed your children? No, it isn't. Nor is 'too busy', plenty of FT working lone parents and dual-couple FT working parents/shift-workers, etc, manage it.

And we're not talking about a breakfast club, either.

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 21:00:37

Should say don't drink or smoke.

And my dd always has toast and fruit which I pay for at first play at school.

littleducks Tue 08-Jan-13 21:01:33

Interesting to see the opinions on eating breakfast.

I have been 'forcing' ds to have something (or bribing him with something yummy) .

In the holidays I offered breakfast when they woke, if they didn't want it then I said to tell me when they did. Ds routinely went through until 10 and once or twice 11.30 and had an early lunch.

I was wondering if I should let him skip breajfast before school. He isn't allowed to take in snacks for break it anything. He is given the government free fruit (I think in the morning?)

expatinscotland Tue 08-Jan-13 21:01:35

'I can imagine then there are people on benefits who have it delayed/messed up who end up in this situation.'

It's temp situation when your benefits have been messed up. Been there, bought the tshirt. No food banks round here, either. What's a higher priority, really, than food for your kids? Tell me, because we've been through: rent and council tax arrears, unintentional homelessness, depression, redundancy, working poverty, extreme disability/child death, swapping shifts with each other to make ends meet and debt. I'll stop there.

Astley Tue 08-Jan-13 21:03:10

Sorry Shayshays I totally misread your post! I thought you were saying the price was only for Scotland, but it was you saying it was for the entire country! Ooops.

landofsoapandglory Tue 08-Jan-13 21:04:51

Apparently they do free breakfasts for primary school children in Wales too. They have done since 2004, at a cost of £12.7million a year!shock. That is a lot of frigging money.

I don't understand why people can't give their DC some breakfast. My DC like crumpets so I buy value ones, they are about 39p and they have them with butter on. Sometimes they have Value pancakes, they are 29p a packet. Most days it's toast or cereal. When DH goes to work early, around 5.30 we put porridge in the slow cooker over night and he and DS1 have that. All they have to do is put it in the bowl.

LineRunner Tue 08-Jan-13 21:04:53

I think as a social experiment it will be interesting, though, to see if it helps the children's concentration and enjoyment at school. (I hope they feed the teachers and staff, too.)

But I wonder how the funders will differentiate between the children whose parents are too busy, too poor, too alienated from affordable shops, and just lazy-arses, in order to be able to drive future social policy in the right direction.

Ditto with dental health, mentioned upthread. ^^

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 21:09:11

I'm not arguing that it isn't the highest priority, of course it is, I've gone without food many times to make sure dc can eat.

I was saying there are temporary situations when I can understand how it occurs.

stealthsquiggle Tue 08-Jan-13 21:10:06

Breakfast at school would suit my DC down to the ground. Not because I CBA, but because by nature they both need to be awake for at least an hour (preferably two) before they can face breakfast. That would mean getting up horribly early, so I do force encourage them to eat breakfast, but it would be a lot easier a bit later.

Fortunately both get snacks at morning break anyway.

float62 Tue 08-Jan-13 21:11:36

Having spent some time living in a deprived neighbourhood and been equally poor myself I do know that amongst some of my neighbours, some parents would use their situation quite 'shamelessly' to extract as much free stuff as possible from anybody that would give it. If they knew their kids would get a free breakfast if they said they couldn't afford it then they would say it and they would train their kids to say it too. Very, very few of these were indeed so ignorant (inc the druggies and alkies) not to actually know that their kids needed breakfast..but if someone else would give it, then they would say the right things to get it. As well as this, various professionals including schools tend to assume that because you are poor in a deprived neighbourhood that you are this stupid and 'chaotic' as the starting point. It becomes a self-perpetuating situation...really it does.

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 21:29:56

"In many families, parents are leaving children to fend for themselves in the morning. This is because some parents simply don't have the time or inclination to prepare breakfast, let alone supervise their children or encourage them to eat it," says the report into teachers' experiences of children who arrive at school unfed.

Last summer researchers found positive results from free meal schemes in three local authorities.

The study looking at projects in Durham, Newham and Wolverhampton found that free meals for all helped to close the gap in test results between rich and poor pupils.

bottleofbeer Tue 08-Jan-13 23:30:16

It's the first thing that happens here in the mornings - breakfast. They even make their own, they're self sufficient enough to make a bowl of cereal.

I used to have to get four kids up, one a baby, feed them all. It wasn't even that hard?!

In the holidays lunch might be skipped because they tend to graze all day but it's automatic that they eat when they get up. I can't begin to fathom it not happening. Odd.

pigletmania Tue 08-Jan-13 23:38:50

YANBU at all, no excuse.if your too busy to feed your kids properly why have kids. My dd 5 who has ASD can be a breakfast refuser so I have to try and cram toast in her mouth

pigletmania Tue 08-Jan-13 23:40:33

I try giving her anything she wants in the morning, even chocolate cake as long as she has something in her tummy. Dd I as skinny as a rake

BunFagFreddie Tue 08-Jan-13 23:59:38

bedmonster, 5 and 7 is too young, but DS was 11, and I was 14 when my parents decided to let us start looking after ourselves. they had to leave for work before we left for school. We were responsible for getting up on time, getting our own breakfasts and making it to school on time. Admittedly I was 14, so obviously in charge. I never used to bother with breakfast, but it was a case of more fool me, because I was perfectly capable of getting it myself.

I honestly don't see anything wrong with this and I think it was completely normal when I was growing up.

Incidentally, I have known a lot of children who refuse to eat breakfast. You can't force them after a certain age. However, you should make breakfast for younger children and provide facilities for older ones. There was a breakfast club for working parents at DS's old school, but you had to pay for it.

flow4 Wed 09-Jan-13 00:22:48

'Too busy' is a lousy excuse... But lots of people are not ready to eat first thing in the morning. I'm not, and my DS2 isn't either. Both of us prefer to be awake for at least 2 hours - preferably more - before we eat. On a school/work day, we wake at 7am, and leave at 8-8.15, so we have time for breakfast but often not the inclination. I have something at work - around 9-9.30, and I wish my son could do the same. Instead, he eats something light he really doesn't want yet...

And even worse, he then has to wait until 1:45 for lunch, because his school has rearranged the day to make lunch later. hmm It would be great, IMO, if they introduced a breakfast club at school, because as things stand, lots of kids are going 16-18 hours without food. sad

sashh Wed 09-Jan-13 01:53:51

Who hasn't chucked their kid a cereal bar or piece of toast in the back of the car on the way to school

Yes but that IS breakfast.

MerryCouthyMows Wed 09-Jan-13 02:11:37

I will be honest and admit that I used to have a real problem with finding time to do breakfast - my DC's would get up at 6.45am with my ex. I would get in from my nightshift at 7.15am, at which point the DC's had to leave for school - my ex left for work at the same time.

So they often had one parent leaving the door with them, handing them to the other parent who had just finished a nightshift, then the first parent went to work while they got on the school bus.

Cereal bars were used a LOT, to the extent that their usual breakfast was a couple of cereal bars, a bottle of fruit juice and a banana on the bus to school!

Now I don't work, that doesn't happen. It was purely a product of our work start and end times overlapping.

MerryCouthyMows Wed 09-Jan-13 02:44:53

I guess to me, that didn't seem like a 'proper' breakfast.

I know some very 'chaotic' families, with 4/6/10 DC's - and they ALL have breakfast every day. Of some sort.

Where ARE all these people who aren't giving their DC's breakfast?! I have lived in some dodgy areas, known very chaotic people (was chaotic myself for years!), yet I can't think of ANY of them who didn't have bread, milk and cereal in the kitchen, and either tell their DC's to go have breakfast, or make it for the younger ones.

Most 7-8yo's can use a toaster and butter bread, most 5-6yo's can do a bowl of cereal.

I really haven't met ONE parent, through ten years of school runs, five houses, four primary schools, that doesn't either make breakfast for their DC's or have breakfast stuff available for older DC's and tell them to go and get it.

And some of the areas I've lived in meet the EU descriptors for Deprived areas, one was one of the most deprived areas of the UK.

I'm baffled tbh, that there really are people out there that won't even attempt to give their DC's breakfast.

DD has always hated eating until she has been up for two hours, so used to eat very little for breakfast. Now she will eat in the morning, but only ever either a Philadelphia sandwich or a honey sandwich with a drink of fruit juice. She takes a piece of fruit and a breakfast bar (she's into those cardboard belvita things) for morning break.

I get that some DC's might not eat well in the morning, it's taken me ten years for it not to be an argument with DD, but to not make them breakfast OR provide food so that they can make it themselves OR chucking them a couple of cereal bars and some fruit on the way to school seems hard to get my head around when I haven't ever known ANYONE not to IYSWIM.

MerryCouthyMows Wed 09-Jan-13 02:50:31

And as for people saying use Lidl - our whole town has no Lidl, and both Aldi's are an HOUR away (EACH way) by bus. If my DC's didn't go to school near Tesco, I would struggle because it's physically impossible to carry a week's worth of food for 5 people home on the bus.

It costs me £10.50 to get me and all of my DC's to and from the supermarket by bus. And they all have to come in the holidays, to help carry. During term time, I shop daily.

If I run out of milk and bread in the school holidays, we end up with some weird and wonderful breakfasts until my ex brings emergency supplies!

I'm probably going to get flamed for this but I have on the odd occasion sent my son to nursery without breakfast as he's point blank refused to have any. Am talking major tantrums when asked what he wants (he's 2.11). It's not an everyday occurrence & I know he'll get a snack fairly soon after he arrives so it's not like he'll go hungry.

I would never be 'too busy' to give him breakfast though.

LineRunner Wed 09-Jan-13 07:04:34

I think the thread is just challenging the notion that it's somehow ok for parents to be 'too busy' to give their children breakfast.

I think food-refusal in the morning is fairly common, and that a sensible answer to that is what parents on here seem to do, which is to arrange a snack for early on.

bigbuttons Wed 09-Jan-13 07:05:53

It's laziness. I am a single parent of 6. I also work three days a week. I cook my kids breakfast( omelettes,pancakes, sausages bacon, toast, crumpets etc) every single morning and have done for year and years.

HecatePropolos Wed 09-Jan-13 07:16:01

My children both have autism and we get up at 6 in order to go through the whole routine and get them to school (5 miles away, a few minutes by car) by 9am. I think that in most cases, certainly those where being 'busy' is blamed, this would be sorted by, as has been said, getting up earlier and/or being more organised. Since there are 24 hours in a day, it is not possible to use the excuse of not having time to make sure your child has a slice of bloody toast!

However. I don't eat breakfast. If I do, it's not till at least 10. (and I of course do get up at 6) I feel physically sick in the morning. I cannot force food down my throat. It sticks, I feel ill. I need to wake up, have a drink and wait for the sickness to pass (I'm not pregnant!). Trying to eat before my body is ready is a horrible experience.

Now I don't imagine I am unique in all the world! I also don't think this is something unique to adults. So I bet there are children out there who feel this way. And eating later is a good idea.

My children's school's cafe is open at morning break and the kids can buy a bacon butty or some toast. I think this is a good idea and solves that problem.

Then you have the children who want to battle it out with you grin and for them, the best thing is they see that that only means they're hungry! They suffer grin. Because getting into food wars is stressful and the best thing there is to say fine, you want no breakfast? OK. No big deal.

Then if they're doing it for the battle wink there's no reason to.

Snog Wed 09-Jan-13 07:22:57

It's just bad parenting to let your kids start school on an empty stomach, and also if you let them start school tired because they don't go to bed early enough.

Both theses things mean that learning is disrupted for the whole class. I am all for free breakfasts being provided at school as an option for all kids as I think the classroom experience will improve for all as a result.

Dp and I work full time and we all of leave the house at 7.35am for work/school. Dd always has bacon or eggs or something hot. It takes 10 minutes to make.

riverboat Wed 09-Jan-13 07:23:00

I don't remember my parents ever making me breakfast - and they didn't/don't eat breakfast themselves. I think they probably must have started out by offering me stuff but got used to me never wanting it, so gave up. Not to do with being too busy. I have never been hungry first thing in the morning. Eating before 10am is not a pleasant experience for me.

On the news report, could the 'too busy' have meant she/the household was too busy in mornings to do a 'proper' sit down breakfast, but that doesnt mean she didnt do the cereal bar/toast-on-the-go thing? How many non-neglectful parents would really deny hungry children something to eat in the morning on a systematic basis then cheerfully admit to it on TV?

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 07:29:06

Merry at least you gave your dc something. Yes I agree with older children getting themselves breakfast, providing what is needed and letting them get on with it. Yes I have a breakfast refuser, she is 5 so I let school know, they rovide a snack for the chidren ater

Morloth Wed 09-Jan-13 07:31:33

There is a vast world between a full sit down cooked breakfast and nothing offered/available at all.

I assume this measure is aimed at the kids who would eat breakfast if they could, but are just not given the opportunity by their parents.

Agree with expatinscotland if food in your kids stomachs is not your No. 1 priority then I can't imagine what is.

Mine have 2 most mornings, a roll/fruit at around 6:30am and then breakfast at around 8am, either at daycare/before school club or at home depending on whether I am working that day or not.

HollyBerryBush Wed 09-Jan-13 07:32:25

Not everyone eats breakfast as soon as they get up - I don't - I get up between 4 and 5 am and couldnt face food until at least 8.30am. DH is the same, he's up at 6, won't eat until he gets to work.

The children are the same - none of them want to eat for at least an hour and a half - and regrettably, they are packed off with enough money to get a bacon roll and a hot chocolate when they get to school - because they just would not get out of bed at 5.30 in order to lay fallow for 2 hours, to eat before we leave the house at 7.40.

Ditto when I used a paid for breakfast club - I was paying for their breakfast - thats where they ate.

KissysUnderTheMisteltoe Wed 09-Jan-13 07:33:28

I thought the same thing when I saw that news item OP. one of the reasons she gave for not giving them breakfast was it was too early for them to eat when they had to get up. Surely an answer to that is to make them something to take with them? To eat in on route to wherever they are going?

I can't believe it's acceptable to not feed your children breakfast?! Sometimes my 2 yo DD doesn't want any breakfast but that's another story....!

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 07:38:21

If tey don't want breakfast straight away, a sandwich or roll on route

I am in the area where this is happening. It is a 3 month trial which parents have had no say over. Everyone I have spoke to think if is a crazy idea and not properly thought out. I haven't seen anything on the news about it but my guess is they were trying their hardest to put a positive spin on it when really there isn't one.

HollyBerryBush Wed 09-Jan-13 07:40:26

In Scotland - not sure whether it still stand in these time of economic hardship - KS1 has free school dinners - every pupil. That may or may not be the case now..

Sometimes it's just cheaper to do things en masse rather than faffing with the few.

popsnsqeeze Wed 09-Jan-13 07:41:01

Disclaimer - I'm not in the UK!
My daughter was in nursery and they supplied breakfast every morning. They had a variety of different options, cereal, eggs, toast, veggies and it was brilliant! DD is a slow breakfast eater but I knew she could eat a little bit at home and then a proper breakfast in nursery.
Now she is 5 and in a pre-k nursery (start school at 6 here) and they have a proper snack at about 10:30, she takes a roll or a little box of pasta. Again this means I don't have to worry that she eats enough at breakfast to make it all the way to lunch.

Ds is another one who often won't eat in the morning, he will have a hot chocolate, so at least a few calories, but although he is generally up at 6:30 and I give him toast then, it is often just nibbled or ignored. We have to leave the house at 8:25 for the school run, so if he hasn't eaten by then, he might be hungry by the time he gets to preschool.

I would be happy for something more than fruit to be available for him when he starts school. You could say that I am too busy in the morning to make him stop being a pirate and eat some more food, but the girls manage to eat something, and he generally just refuses food, whatever and however it is offered until 10am. Am hoping he will grow out of it, but reading some other replies here it seems he isn't alone in not being hungry in the morning.

I think the point is there's a big difference between chikdren who cannot eat in the morning and children who are not being given the option of breakfast at home.
My DH can't eat before 9am. He starts work at 5am so he takes those microwave porridge things to work and eats at 9am.
My niece can't eat early in the morning so she has a smoothie before school and a snack at first break.
Not everyone can eat early in the morning.

But to say you are too busy to make breakfast is absurd. My 9 year old makes his own toast and cereal in the morning.
I suppose if breakfast is not a priority and the parents in the article haven't been giving their children breakfast every day, the chikdren aren't suddenly going to get up and start making their own.

For as much as I think it's ludicrous not to make/provide breakfast before school, if the scheme will help children like this and also children who cannot afford to have breakfast every day, it can only be a good thing.

I worry it will not actually cure the problem itself though, so when the children go to secondary school for example there will be no one to ensure they have a decent breakfast.

lljkk Wed 09-Jan-13 07:50:16

I suspect the facts of story have been distorted. Or at least, school has explained quickly without nuance. DS went to school breakfast club for a while. If child has to be on school premises by 8:50am but refuses to eat until 3pm, that could be recorded as "not enough time/too busy" to eat, but actually it's because he's a stubborn little sod and enjoys the control freakery of not eating (some days).

Putting DS in a room of other children scoffing toast & Jam might be enough to tempt DS to eat after all.

DS would eat crisps for breakfast if I let him, I can see why some folk resort to that, too.

I used to go to school with no breakfast all the time! My parents had no clue. Had no impact on any part of my life. I still find breakfast a hard meal to get interested in.

MrsKeithRichards Wed 09-Jan-13 07:57:24

Here in Scotland it's schools who are deemed to be within high areas of deprivation that offer free school dinners to all p1, 2 and free pupils, not every school.

Psammead Wed 09-Jan-13 08:00:39

Parents being too busy to offer food to their children? Albeit via breakfast club, or mid-morning snack for non-breakfasters when necessary....

Too busy to feed your child? What the hell are they too busy with that stops them providing nutrition to their offspring? When you have children that is your job. Your number 1, top priority job.

What's next? Too busy to get your child dressed so the government provides free clothing at school? Too busy to bathe your child so compulsory school showers each morning? Too busy to pick up your child from school so they just live there? Ffs.

This has got to be one of the saddest, most passing-the-buck of responsibility bullshit I ever heard.

MrsKeithRichards Wed 09-Jan-13 08:02:49

1, 2 and free? 3!

whois Wed 09-Jan-13 08:04:14

Parents who are unable to provide food in the mornings, either a sit down breakfast at home, a sandwich to eat later on or money to buy breakfast from a breakfast club, are neglectful pure and simple. No excuses.

I don't eat breakfast at home as I prefer to eat an hour later at work. If my children were the same I'd pack them off with a jam sandwich or banana or yogurt or whatever.

If I couldn't afford those kind of breakfast items they would be eating porridge at home.

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jan-13 08:06:36

Not feeding children properly or at regular times has become widespread.

Catering properly for a family is quite a lot of work. Many parents are exceedingly busy and tired and children bear the brunt of their parents' over-stretched lives.

BunFagFreddie Wed 09-Jan-13 08:08:22

DS was another breakfast refuser and still is. It was more of a control freakery thing, as lljkk says. He would request the most bizzare and ridiculous things, which I didn't have of course and suddenly annouce that he had gone off certain foods. In fact, he did this with all meals and all food apart from chocolate and crisps! He's the most stubborn and awkward person in the world at times.

I was a working single mum at the time, so he did eat breakfast at the breakfast club, which was a paid one for working parents. He also used to eat at my DM's on days she took him to school, but I found out she was giving him the most awful sugary cereals. DS's school only allowed children to eat at lunch time. Taking a snack at lunch time wasn't an option, because they had to put their lunch boxes in the hall. Asking about DS having a snack at break time just resulted in a snooty teacher being all snidey about the fact that I couldn't manage get DS to eat breakfast. Bitch.

realcoalfire Wed 09-Jan-13 08:12:06

'In Scotland - not sure whether it still stand in these time of economic hardship - KS1 has free school dinners - every pupil'

see this + free pensions, free care homes and cheap student fees makes me hope scotland devolves!

lljkk Wed 09-Jan-13 08:17:25

Whois the school wouldn't let them eat those things, ime! Or not until morning snack time (maybe banana), the others not allowed at all. They wouldn't want other children clamouring "Why can't I have a yogurt/banana/jam sandwich" too.

jamdonut Wed 09-Jan-13 08:20:58

Children can buy fruit at school in yrs 3-6 at morning break. Some children rely on this as they get absolutely nothing at home. Foundation and yr 1 - 2 get fruit anyway. You can always tell the children who have had no breakfast,or even a drink. They are listless ,pale and continually complain of stomach ache or headache. (Mind you,this often applies to the ones who were watching DVD's in their rooms till gone midnight hmm)

jamdonut Wed 09-Jan-13 08:23:12

lljkk - will you still have those things, if Scotland devolves though? I wouldn't count my chickens....

LineRunner Wed 09-Jan-13 08:52:56

So in fact, encouraging not discouraging a snack time at an early first break would generally be a good thing in the primary sector?

Cheap, effective, covers a lot of bases, addresses the multiple causes of breakfastlessness discussed ^^.

valiumredhead Wed 09-Jan-13 09:10:36

Who hasn't chucked their kid a cereal bar or piece of toast in the back of the car on the way to school

Me, never, wouldn't occur to me!

So the council pays 700k because parents are too lazy/disorganised to sort out breakfast? I'm stunned!

There is a tuck shop at ds's school which is provided so the kids can buy breakfast as loads won't have had it. Ds told me his mate always buys a bacon roll as he is starving by then 'because his mum doesn't 'do' breakfast' and he gets tummy pains. Ffs.

At ds's old school in London, the head used to provide breakfast in the staff room during SATS to ensure the best results. Funny and sad in equal measures.

Flobbadobs Wed 09-Jan-13 09:19:23

DS is going through a bit of a refusnik stage at the moment, I make him breakfast but he generally gets something from the cafe at school as well. I have to admit I get a bit annoyed as I make him toast, he eats about 6 bites of it then he goes into school and apparently buys himself 4 slices of sodding toast! Which is very hypocritical of me really as I don't eat breakfast till I've done the school run... blush
YANBU OP, it takes next to no time to put some breakfast together, I'm not exactly the most organised of people but I can still feed 2 older children and a baby who still has milk as well as cereal in the morning, plus I have a mindee coming most mornings and DS sets off for school early.

I get how people could struggle financially. And nothing wrong with breakfast clubs as you are still paying to provide them
Breakfast, it's a child care option invaluable to many working parents. and I can also see how it can be a squeeze for full time working parents on shifts bit they still manage to chuck a banana and a carton of juice at the kids.

But... When packed lunches can be done night before. Meal prep also. Or batch cooking at weekends etc. when... When its the mum dad home to take kids to school which starts at half eight/nine and u get up
At six- if ur not feeding the kids just what exactly is it that u spend two hours doing? What can take so long that u can't chuck them
A cereal bar in the car/bus on way?

ReindeerBollocks Wed 09-Jan-13 09:31:33

I amazed that parents don't have the time to feed their (presumably NT DC's) in the morning.

This morning I have had to find the time to do DC1's IV antibiotics, physio and two nebulisers alongside his usual things. DC1 doesn't tend to like food but we have high calorie milkshakes for him instead and he has two of these alongside his daytime meds.

I hate mornings (and really struggle with the 6:30 starts) but if I can do all of the above before 9 then parents who fail to just do the basics are guilty of neglect ( excluding those whose DC's won't eat / eat later in the morning). There really is no excuses for failing to feed a child breakfast.

(for all those parents whose DC's don't eat - try milkshakes - DC1 can squeeze one in and I feel slightly happier knowing his tummy has something in it, it has really helped take away food stresses in the morning).

TheBrideofMucky Wed 09-Jan-13 09:35:52

I have another food refuser here. Luckily he will eat at breakfast club because he sees other children eating there and I need to use it as I start work at 8.30 sharp (sometimes 8am) and DH leaves the house at 7.

Myself and dp don't eat breakfast ourselves, we just can't eat that early. But it never crossed our minds to let the kids go without. Ds2 is like us but he'll eat a yogurt, never cereal that early though.

Breakfast is the only meal of the day dd eats well at, of she didn't have breakfast shed starve as she rarely eats her lunch at school and picks at dinner.

There have been mornings we've slept through alarms and not woken up til gone 8.30 but id rather ne even later than send them in hungry.

badguider Wed 09-Jan-13 09:45:47

As lots have said it is easy to not have time for a child who won't really eat in the mornings, who sits at the table for half an hour or longer fiddling with rice krispies and being generally unenthusiastic.... the woman on the tv said she 'didn't have time for an arguement' which implies her ds was not a 'sit down and eat without issues' child.
Getting up an hour earlier is not going to help with a child who doesn't want to eat breakfast... and techniques for encouraging eating at other meals do not work when everybody knows that there is a clock on.

LineRunner Wed 09-Jan-13 09:46:25

I wonder, if parents who just don't 'do' breakfast are to some extent the same parents who find it difficult to get their children to school on time, I don't suppose they'll make it to the breakfast club anyway? (Assuming it takes place before school starts.) So they'd still be better off with an early break snack arranegment.

(When my DCs were at primary there were families whose DCs were late every single day. I used to meet them walking to school when I was nearly back home again.)

FreePeaceSweet Wed 09-Jan-13 09:49:08

The school involved is the one my cousin sends her dd to. I'm just relieved that her dd is going to be getting at least one decent meal a day. My cousins first priority is not bread, milk and cornflakes. angry

LineRunner Wed 09-Jan-13 09:51:37

FreePeace, what time does the breakfast club start? Will your cousin's DD get there in time ok?

They either eat it or go without. What's to argue about? Surely if you do have a child that can't eat that early then the argument wouldnt be "too busy" it would be " s/he just can't eat at that time" And u as others have said you would put something in their bag for when u got there.

If the argument is just its the wrong cereal or "I'm not eating that" or just being difficult on purpose then let them go til lunch. Tough. No one who has a food refuser would say they were to busy surely?

Kids argue about everything. U wouldn't take them to school naked of they argued about clothes. It's what they do.

FreePeaceSweet Wed 09-Jan-13 09:59:16

Not sure but the one at my kids school starts at 6.45! I pity the poor staff member that opens up. God knows what time she has to start her day. Don't see my cousin often but recognised the school in the news. At our school they do toast and milk in class for any late comers which I think is nice if slightly enabling... Mind you as someone who from the age of 8 was responsible for getting 3 younger siblings to and from school and therefore was late myself almost daily maybe the toast and milk in class is a good thing?

WilsonFrickett Wed 09-Jan-13 10:06:17

No, Scotland gets free fruit for all children up to P3, free school meals are based on LA guidelines but iirc most of them follow pretty much the same criteria as everywhere else.

Astley Wed 09-Jan-13 10:40:29

As I mentioned, we're in one of the most deprived areas in Scotland, but DS doesn't get free meals, only fruit. There must be a lot of criteria for everyone to get them, it would cost a fortune.

Floggingmolly Wed 09-Jan-13 10:56:28

How busy can you be? confused. Get up earlier, it's not rocket science, is it?

I saw the interview the OP is talking about and I have to say I first thought to myself 'I dont want an argument... how long is that parenting strategy going to work?' hmm.

But actually I think the mum in question just wasn't giving the best answers. I think they said she was a single parent who worked shifts, and had her parents help out with overnight childcare. I can well imagine that if they kids hadn't seen her since quite early the previous day and she's coming in the door as they're trying to get out of it for school then it's going to be really hard - not impossible, but a battle - to get them to focus on eating. So if I were her in that situation then yes, I would definitely use and welcome the scheme, but I don't think she did herself or the scheme any favours with the comments she made.

Flobbadobs Wed 09-Jan-13 11:54:36

Hmm, reindeer you might have just solved the problem DS loves milkshakes (needs a facepalm emoticon).
linerunner that may well be true. My old neighbour never got her Ds to school on time, she ended up having someone to come to the house everyday to make sure they were ready. Her DS never ate breakfast except at the weekends. She always managed to stand outside chain smoking -and looking in through my window- everyday though...

Dahlen Wed 09-Jan-13 12:24:57

I've got very mixed feelings about this. My natural inclination is to put this down to neglect/laziness, but then I started thinking a bit more and I think it's much more symptomatic of various things that have gone wrong with our society.

Yes, there are always going to be cases where poverty/poor parenting applies, but in the case of working parents there is a bigger picture to be looked at I think.

Apparently we are working longer hours than ever, despite (or possibly because of) technology. Couple that with the amount of children now being schooled outside their catchment area and the travelling that involves, and for some parents factoring in enough time to make sure the entire family sits down and eats breakfast together would mean getting up at 5am! With the length of the school/working day (including commuting), the emphasis on homework and extra-curricular activities for children and the usual demands on adults, and getting to bed at an early enough time to allow for such an early start is near to impossible. So it becomes a choice between breakfast and sleep deprivation. What's worse? The intention to send in mid-morning snacks probably helps most parents rationalise this, and it's a lifestyle choice being endorsed by the food industry and a situation where many adults forego breakfast altogether for various reasons.

For parents who can afford it, the solution is to move nearer the job/better school to save time, have a SAHP, or enlist the help of a willing relative or paid professional, but many people aren't in that position.

I still think a lot of it is skewed priorities and laziness, but to be fair to some of these parents, it's easy to say "make this your priority" but far harder to do it when there are so many other 'priorities' being demanded - such as earning the money to pay for that food in the first place, reading to your children (also something that only takes 10 minutes and should be done daily), etc.

I don't know what the answer is and while my children have gone to school without breakfast on occasion (because they refused to eat anything), it's never been because I've been "too busy" to make it available. Despite working full time, mornings are quite relaxed in my house.

shewhowines Wed 09-Jan-13 12:47:38

I don't eat breakfast till later and to be honest my DC aren't too bothered. I gave up the struggle of getting a healthy breakfast inside them and now let them eat the sugar filled crap cereal they like. I'd still rather they had this than nothing though, but I do feel guilty.

thecook Wed 09-Jan-13 12:49:29

YANBU. - Too busy to feed their kids in the morning? Shouldn't have had them in the first place.

losingtrust Wed 09-Jan-13 12:56:22

I am a single parent. Leave for work at 7.30. Both dcs are up and have breakfast with me at 7. Not just cereal but also boiled egg or something else. Being too busy is tosh. You can leave the bowl out, put the pan on for eggs while you wake the dcs up. Not hard!

Since when did feeding your own child or arranging to have your child fed become optional? What happens in holidays? Work times don't change just cos schools out? I can't see that these kids skip meals constantly then? It takes a matter of seconds to shove a cereal bar in a back pack the night before. I thought services like that we're meant for those who really needed it like those who are financially struggling.

Onezerozero Wed 09-Jan-13 13:29:08

I have to stand over DD for forty five minutes every morning, cajoling, to get her to eat one little slice of malt loaf, or half a piece of toast. I'd honestly never thought of just letting her go without breakfast.

Maybe I should.
She doesn't want to eat in the mornings at all.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

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

Lol, not a prob Astley : )

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

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

stealthsquiggle Thu 10-Jan-13 12:15:21

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.

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]

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.

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!

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.

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?

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!

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 18:22:46

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)

stealthsquiggle Thu 10-Jan-13 18:32:47

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.

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.

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!

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

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