This topic is for surveys for Mumsnet HQ and their clients. If you'd like to commission a survey of MN members email email@example.com. Non MN surveys will be deleted.
NOW CLOSED: UK MNers with a child aged 5-15: take a short survey for Warburtons - & share your best morning tips/breakfast recipes - £300 of Love2Shop vouchers to be won(253 Posts)
We've been asked by Warburtons to find Mumsnetters to:
~ Complete their survey all about the morning breakfast routine in your house - this is open to all UK MNers with at least one child (of approx school age) aged 5-15 years - complete it and add your details at the end and you could win a £150 Love2Shop voucher - here's the link
and also for all parents (whatever age child you have) to please
~ Share your top tips for making mornings run smoothly, your top breakfast recipe tips or top advice on how to get your children eating breakfast - everyone who adds a tip etc will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win another £150 Love2Shop voucher.
This is all in advance of a new book which Warburtons are producing, so please note your anonymous tips/ advice may well appear in the book - as well as stats from the survey. The book will be distributed free of charge next year and there will be an opportunity to get a copy via MN.
Here's the survey link again (at the end you will be redirected to this thread so you can add a comment then)
Odd survey - in this house the DCs prepare their own breakfast, but there's no option to state that. Also, who on earth has time to pay bills, make social arrangements or do laundry in the morning before school?!
And hands up who would rather have David Cameron on hand in the morning (as opposed to someone useful, like Supernanny).
My top tip is to get the DCs to make their own breakfast and lunch! We have been doing this since DD2 was 7.
And I always make my breakfast (fruit, yogurt and nuts) in a Tupperware and take it to work. That way I can eat in peace, as opposed to running round the house looking for lost PE Kit.
Porridge in slow cooker helps hen everyone needs to have breakfast at different times,
My tip (which I am sure has been mentioned already)
Soak porridge in milk overnight, in the pan, on the hob, with wooden spoon in. Leave golden syrup/dried fruit/honey etc next to hob. Leave out bowls with spoons in.
Walk in kitchen, put the hob on, quick stir and you are zero to creamy porridge hero in 3 mins.
Fling the used bowls/cutlery in the saucepan and then fill with water before you hit the school run. Or it will be concrete and you will pay.
The most helpful thing to make mornings easier for me is to make sure I've got a stash of pound coins and/or other assorted smaller change.
If one of the dc's needs £1 for dressing-up day/lunch/20p for toast/50p for school disco ticket/whatever, it's guaranteed that I will only be asked for it as we are about to walk out of the door, and having a stash avoids the headless chicken impressions.
Do as much as possible the night before:
Check they have clean ironed schooliform and get it out ready, socks and pants on the radiator.
Check homework is done and homework planner signed, any school letters/emails dealt with - info transferred to kitchen calendar and mine and DH's diaries.
Get sports kit ready and put bag in hall next to school shoes.
I get up before everyone else because I hate rushing in the morning and so I can get showered, dressed, have cup of tea, feed cats and put coffee on before everyone else gets up.
Set time limits - girls have to be up by 7.30 and downstairs for breakfast, and then upstairs by 8 to get washed and dressed, downstairs and ready to leave by 8.30.
Inevitably though, one of them will remember something vital at 8.32...
I don't see how David Cameron could be anything other than a major hindrance in the morning. Or indeed at any time.
Like everyone else says, the key is getting ready the night before. Homework completed, bags packed, clothes ready.
The question about who could entertain DS was a little odd. He doesn't need entertained, he needs to hurry up, stop daydreaming and get dressed!
Get clothes organised and laid out the night before. Kids dressed in their rooms before they come downstairs. Build in 10 min grace period where you won't be cutting it too fine if you leave within that period.
Being organised is the key. Make sure kids have everything they need for the next day, nothing worse than having to hunt for PE kit/piece of tinsel when time is short.
Not too much choice for breakfast - cereal and fruit or egg on toast. Or whatever your child likes to eat and is healthy.
Routine - I have always had a morning routine from when working and have adjusted it as we have had babies/toddlers nursery school etc. Now that they are older they get their own breakfast showered, dressed etc but I get them up each morning and we get on with the day.
For kiddies who dither and struggle to remember to clean teeth etc I found a chart with their morning routine pinned somewhere for them easily to see helped and they ticked off when things were done. This in conjunction with a reward chart stopped me from being screechy, nagging Mum to gentle reminders to check their chart.
Get bags, packed lunches or dinner money sorted the night before.
Have good hallway storage/pegs for each child so there is somewhere clear for coats, hats, gloves, book bags etc (not yet sorted in our house) to go and so they can take responsibility for their own.
Get up and showered before children wake up if possible!
Get or make sure children get dressed before they have time to think about the day!
Definitely no TV.
Have a set breakfast menu for each day with a something different on Fridays so people know what is on offer. Ie porridge one day, choice of cereals second day, fresh fruit and yoghurt third day, different cereals then finish week with croissants or a voted for favourite.
Make sure children have a good drink at the beginning as dehydration is the primary cause of meltdown in our house, and in enough time that you don't get caught out halfway to school
Stay calm and encourage. Know what good things or good friends will be at school and keep focused on the good whilst making time later to deal with fears unless child terrified.
I found, as a SAHM of one child that holding a breakfast club for 3 in total results in children having a small, fun, manageable target to start the day, a wonderful sit at the table breakfast with great conversation and often singing and a responsibility for not making the others late. The only real challenge for me is stopping the fun at the table and getting them out the door, but then we have things to spot and run to on the way to school. Being responsible for others' children probably makes me in my best parenting behaviour and extra encouraging at a time of day that otherwise I'd be less self aware. Added bonus is that I get a financial reward and the other parents get to work on time. Win win!
Make lunches night before and ensure clothes are ready as well. One less headache in the morning. Unfortunately the kids can't have breakfast the night before as well!
Me. I am the key to an organised morning. If I'm on the ball, up, awake, showered and dressed before the kids (8 and 4 year old twins) then the morning wI'll go smoothly. If I'm not then it's usually carnage.
I do mornings on my own because dh leaves the house at 6.50 so I always aim to be out of the shower by the time the front door slams loudly
TV only once kids have eaten, are cleaned and dressed. Usually at that point the daily torture of hairbrushing commences.
All out the door at 8.45.
Happy to have tv on in the kitchen but the news programmes only. They can watch tv while eating breakfast but if I can subtly impart some knowledge about the world around them then so much the better.
Have finally discovered that rather than asking my 15 year old son (admittedly non fussy) what he'd like I just place items in front of him and he eats them one by one at breakfast - yoghurt, croissant, apple or banana, some toast or cereal/milk. Rarely does he leave anything, saves him grunting responses at me and saves my nerves for the 14 year old girl who barely eats a crumb.
breakfast always runs smoothly (because usually DH does it unless he is on a really early start!). i always make sure that book bag is packed night before with everything DS needs, and uniform is ironed and hung up ready for him to put on. its the actual getting out of the house that i find difficult - you know trying to get them to put shoes/coats/hats etc on and get everything we need to the car and get to school on time. DS has only been at school since september so this may get easier - or worse when DD starts school and DC3 comes along
Jam sandwiches made the night before make a great breakfast treat that can be eaten on the run.
It's no different to toast really but the kids think its an amazing treat!
We always do all the organising the night before. Bags are packed, uniform laid out, packed lunches made and put in the fridge. We have our routine, and stick with it.
Weekends, anything goes!
Beakfast usually runs smoothly except Tuesday for some reason. They seem to be very grumpy on a Tuesday so I try to be more organised on a Monday night.
Getting my DS washed, teeth done and dressed if the priority before food. As long as that is done he can take ages eating if he wants (and he does) and I don't have to tell him to hurry up as I know we are ready to go as soon as we need to. He can leave food if he is too slow but we can't leave without his trousers on!
everything laid out the night before and downstairs ready to go. Dishes done the night before and the kitchen area clear and ready to use. Also, my DS (13) was given a waffle machine for his birthday and he loves waffles so I encourage him to make a batch of the mixture, pop it in the fridge and then in the morning he can make himself a nice hot waffle... alternatively he seems to like cold readybrek....
Prepare bag & uniform in advance.
Allow the child an extra 15 minutes to waste in the bathroom before coming for breakfast.
Put on the school uniform before having the breakfast and hope that it will not get dirty.
My top tips for making mornings run smoothly are to have your partner bring you a cup of tea/coffee in bed first thing and, by the time thy're teenagers, train your children to get their own breakfast and clean up after themselves! Obviously this can take years and years, but if you put in a few years of getting breakfast for the rest of the family, it doesn't seem such a great ask to be given a hot drink of a morning before your DP disappears off to work.
During the transition years, when your children can do some things for themselves but cannot manage everything, have routines for school days where you oversee it all, but children pitch in helping in small ways according to their age and ability. Don't be tempted to start letting them help themselves to whatever they want (from cupboards) before they can wipe up crumbs from the table or load/unload the dishwasher!
Introducing a new task to a child is best done at weekends and holidays, so that they don't have to be rushed, and if it results in a mess it isn't an issue as there's more time to clean up. It also means they can still be in their PJs, so if butter gets smeared on a sleeve or juice is spilled on a chair, there's no need for a quick change of school uniform.
You could have children eating breakfast in their PJs every day, but if they are slow eaters and slow at getting dressed as well, there's a risk of making yourselves late, unless you are all very early risers.
Put the choice of breakfast ready on the table, they just have to eat it, put their plate in the dishwasher, help put packets and jars away and wipe the table.
Have everything ready the night before, including uniform ironed, homework done, forms filled in and cheques written, and bags packed, but involve your child in getting these things done, and by year 5 or so have them assemble what they need themselves. For example, for infant school aged children, put all the things to go into a packed lunch ready. They just have to get one of each thing into a bag (main, fruit, savoury snack, drink, dessert). By year 6, they should normally be able to get their own packed lunch (make and wrap a sandwich the day before, or ask for some extra pasta cooked and put it in a box) and cereal or toast for breakfast, clean up after themselves and check they have all they need and do most of the preparation the night before, asking for help if needed.
Everyone in our family likes different things for breakfast, so we rotate what is available. There's almost always a standard selection of toast and jam, porridge and a basic cereal, but I try to provide a bit of variation at weekends and at least one week day. I might do boiled eggs and soldiers one day, fruit salad with yoghurt another day, sausage or bacon butties, croissants, crumpets, English muffins, mushrooms on toast, pains au chocolate and pastries, smoothies, or pancakes/drop scones with syrup which is our favourite. It's a good idea to let children try different foods to see what they like, and have them try foods they don't like every so often, in case their tastes change.
My top advice on how to get children eating breakfast is to provide a lot of variety, and set a good example while they are young and eat something for breakfast yourself, with them, even if it is just a small piece of toast or a yoghurt or some fruit. If you're having overnight visitors find out what they like for breakfast beforehand, so your children see others eating well and it's just a normal part of the daily routine.
I felt a bit of a fraud filling in that survey as I've taken very little role in the morning routine for years. DC learned to make their own packed lunches from age 8-10 onwards- I just needed to make sure we had the right ingredients in. Similarly with actual breakfast- I haven't had to make them breakfast for years- I only do the baby's breakfast now and make weekend "treat" breakfast such as pancakes or full English. So I guess my top tip would be making the children as independent as possible as early as possible.
Definitely no TV (or Mnetting) before school. That's my best tip. And get them onto school dinners.
As everyone else has said, get all the clothes ready and bags packed the night before. Even put socks and pants ready to put on. When I am super organised I put the breakfast bowls, spoons and cereal packets out ready.
Never do homework or reading as there isn't time and add in extra time to allow for delays either from children or traffic.
Eat in pj's. brush teeth in pj's. bribe them with a chewy vitamin to get their clothes on!
I'm not a routiney person normally, or never would have thought I was pre DC's, but our mornings are now run like clockwork - like the Father in Mary Poppins !
Keep things as simple as possible too.
Like in "Just a minute" there's to be no deviation
Get up same time, make cuppa for me and DH.
Breakfast for DC's in front of morning children's telly.
Cereal (not too sweet, so from a small range of options) or toast.
Possibly some fruit juice or smoothie is always popular.
Do DD's hair in a plait.
Pack bags, find shoes etc !
Like the tip up-thread to have a pot of pound coins and assorted change - we're nearly there but my pot of change is always running out ! Pens and pencils always seem to be in demand too. And cheques, hopefully from DH !
Top tip for New Year to myself is to have a laundry basket on the landing for DC's school uniforms etc. - hopefully get the laundry system working more smoothly with co-operation from DC's
Personally I like the children's TV in the morning as it helps keep us on schedule
and keeps the DC's helpfully passive whilst they wake up and eat breakfast
but I do wish they'd ban shouting and fighting on programmes < looks pointedly at Tracey Beaker team >
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