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AIBU to let my son eat sugary breakfast cereal rather than go to school without eating breakfast?

(95 Posts)
stickwithit Mon 11-Jul-11 14:52:49

Breakfast time is an ongoing problem with DS (4). He asks for sweet foods- anything from sugary non-cereal (e.g. coco pops, pancakes, pancakes). I do not give in, or make a fuss. I offer ‘normal’ cereal, toast, fruit, porridge, eggs, yoghurt.

He has had the type of food he asks for at breakfast time very rarely (e.g. pancakes when they were on an all inclusive breakfast table once, and coco pops at his Grandmas where he stays about once every six weeks).

More often than not he has no breakfast, as he does not want to eat what I offer. If this happens on a pre-school day (three days a week) he will not eat until snack time at preschool where they are offered one biscuit and unlimited fruit and vegetables. On any other day he generally gives in at about 11ish and has some fruit or maybe a boiled egg. This has been going on for over a year.

Other mealtimes are generally fine and battle free. He eats a wide variety of foods. If he says he doesn’t like or want something I don’t make much comment or offer an alternative and he usually eats it anyway!

He starts school in September and I am worried that if the situation continues he will arrive without eating which is obviously not OK.

I am considering backing down and allowing him to have a sugary cereal. I don’t like the idea as they seem like biscuits disguised as cereal to me, and I will have put my foot on the slippery slope to giving in which may lead to problems at other mealtimes. However, maybe I am being too evangelical about it and need to relax a little.

So AIBU to let him eat these nasty cereals rather than go to school on an empty stomach?

worraliberty Mon 11-Jul-11 14:55:12

How early does he get up and what time does he have to leave?

Personally, I'd spend this time trying him on all different alternatives.

tallulahxhunny Mon 11-Jul-11 14:55:16

:| why do you think they make sugar puffs and cocopops? its for breakfast and because children like them. its a breakfast cereal the clue is in the words

VelveteenRabbit Mon 11-Jul-11 14:55:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

oohjarWhatsit Mon 11-Jul-11 14:55:33

i would give cereal, it wont hurt him

next week it will be something different he wants

meriden Mon 11-Jul-11 14:55:45

Could you go half way and get him the mini weetabix with chocolate in? And just make sure he brushes his teeth afterwards?

I would rather mine ate something, whatever it may be, than go in on an empty stomach.

Tee2072 Mon 11-Jul-11 14:56:34

My son has a pancake nearly everyday for breakfast and then some of my peanut butter toast.

He's only 2 but it hasn't killed him yet!

icooksocks Mon 11-Jul-11 15:00:23

YANBU to lt him have cereal. Mine have honey hoops, choco hoops or malt wheaties (all Asda own brand) and they are all still alive.

[Bad mother emoticon]

itisnearlysummer Mon 11-Jul-11 15:00:55

No don't back down!

Cocopops can only be eaten at grandma's houses AFAIK. grin

Can you tell him that he can have pancakes at the weekend if he has eaten proper cereal for the rest of the week? So he gets a sticker or something to show he has eaten cereal, but not if he refuses to eat a breakfast then he can have pancakes on a saturday.

I really hate the way supermarkets have "children's cereals" aisles and they're full of shit.

Do you give him a choice of the cereals? My DD (4) has weetabix, branflakes or porridge. She can choose herself from that and makes the breakfast herself too.

Allinabinbag Mon 11-Jul-11 15:01:16

My guess is that he's just not hungry. My dd2 was the same, very fussy and picky at breakfast, nothing right, would eat a cake but not much else, so in the end I realised she just wasn't hungry enough to eat normal food (which is all that was on offer). She also ate fine at lunch and dinner.

I found the only thing that broke this was her going to school. Then she was really tired and hungry first thing, and now eats toast/breakfast cereal (bran flakes, cheerios) or a wrap and ham/cream cheese and cucumber.

By the way, my husband believes cereal is the work of the Devil and a really bad and dehydrating way to start the day (full of dried up wheat and sugar). I have cut down on cereals and moved to more protein/toast/salady things as they do on the continent (when they are not eating pastries!)

Sarsaparilllla Mon 11-Jul-11 15:01:31

He's probably cottoned on to the fact he's not supposed to have it, which makes it more exciting for him to want? Give him what he'll eat, as long as he has a balanced diet overall I can't see it'll hurt him and he might get bored of it once it's allowed anyway

munstersmum Mon 11-Jul-11 15:01:48

Compromise works in this house. A shredded wheat with a few cocoa pops sprinkled on top or porridge with a drizzle of honey....you get the idea smile

pingu2209 Mon 11-Jul-11 15:02:49

Probably you are being unreasonable, but so am I. I think we are the majority.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Mon 11-Jul-11 15:03:48

Sorry but i think sending a child to school without breakfast is very wrong and has far more associated complications than .... shock horror ... giving your kid coco pops!

VelveteenRabbit Mon 11-Jul-11 15:04:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stickwithit Mon 11-Jul-11 15:05:07

Thanks for the responses.

He gets up at 7ish, we will leave for school at 8.45.

I consider ‘normal’ cereal to be things like rice crispies, cornflakes, weetabix etc..

He does eat sweet foods as occasional snacks or puddings so I am not a fully paid member of the healthy eating brigade. However, the sugar coated / chocolate filled cereal seemed like a bad idea to me. I have a horrendously sweet tooth and could eat chocolate cake for breakfast, but I don’t let myself- maybe he has an inherited problem!!

I like the idea of a compromise by mixing two cereals or giving him a weekend treat, thank you.

SenoritaViva Mon 11-Jul-11 15:06:04

What about getting in some 'treat' cereals and saying they are for Sunday morning only (or pancakes with blueberries or something) but only if he eats reasonable cereal and a proper breakfast during the week?

What do you call normal? In our house we have shreddies, rice krispies, cornflakes, wheetabix (ruined though DD, also 4 won't touch having tried the chocolate variety) and waitrose own brand of cheerios (seem to have less sugar that nestle variety).

SenoritaViva Mon 11-Jul-11 15:06:35

sorry X-posted.

Allinabinbag Mon 11-Jul-11 15:08:26

I don't think the issue is the food, if a child can't find anything to like out of toast (presumably with lots of different spreads), less sugary cereals, porridge, eggs and so on, they can't be hungry!

He's asking for pancakes and Cocopops precisely because they are forbidden and it's fun watching you turn purple.

I wouldn't give in, I would do what others have suggested, and have pancakes one weekend as a treat or the odd bowl of Cocopops (like those mini-packets) every now and again.

My own opinion is that eating several large bowls of cereal a day makes people fat, at least, it made me fat and it's easy not to just settle for one. Better not create the habit if possible, at least not for everyday.

itisnearlysummer Mon 11-Jul-11 15:09:49

Hope it goes well.

I just find that the very sugary cereals give the kids a quick energy boost and they get very hungry again mid morning.

My DD has cereal, wholemeal toast with honey and fruit for breakfast. I'm not a fully paid member of the healthy eating brigade either, but we do go for a balanced diet and I, personally, don't feel that those very sugary cereals have any place in it.

What uncles and aunts offer in their house is up to them, but it stays at their house!

tryingtoleave Mon 11-Jul-11 15:11:12

If you don't have them in your house he can't have them. Simple. My dcs get plenty of treats but it wouldn't occur to me to buy sweet cereal. My dcs get to choose from muesli, rice bubbles, cornflakes and porridge. They have no idea that coco pops even exist.

Forest111 Mon 11-Jul-11 15:13:39

My Mum used to do the same as you and went to all sorts of lengths to make me and my sister eat 'proper' breakfast, what they had for dinner etc even though we were both small eaters and usually not hungry. It was a constant battle for her and gave us both hang ups about food, eating etc long into adulthood. Thankfully not an eating disorder though.

I decided not to do the same for dd even though she was a nightmare while eating, usually not eating enough to keep a fly alive and although I made sure she didn't eat complete rubbish all day, I did give her sugary cereals to eat and didn't make her sit at the table until her tea was completely gone. If she wasn't hungry she didn't eat it but she was not allowed a pudding.

She is now 7 and eats a massive amount of different foods (more than my dh) and actually loves porridge, weetabix and bran flakes for breakfast now.

I agree with another post that it is probably making it more attractive because he can't have it.

sunnysan Mon 11-Jul-11 15:15:16

My ds (4) has fruits, cereals, toast, bread... And he chooses what he wants. Thing is, if he asks for cereals more than 3 times a week, it simply “run over”… So he knows he must choose something else! Oh, I’m not English-speaking, so sorry my poor words!

Blu Mon 11-Jul-11 15:19:52

You might be surprised how much sugar and salt Rice Krispies and Bran Flakes have in them!

DS often has pancakes - those Aunt Bessie frozen ones, which have no sugar in them, he has them hot with squeezed orange juice.

'Children's cereals' do have whacking great proportions of sugar - I would offer porridge with fresh ohange juice and a small drizzle of honey (it's fun for them to let it drizzle from the spoon), as it has more fibre and a higher GI than most cereals.

Does he have a glass of milk? Offer him a homemade smoothie with half a banana and some fruit in with the milk?

HowAnnoying Mon 11-Jul-11 15:20:28

I saw a Dr on TV say that it is better for children to have breakfast of any kind rather than go without, as it is the most important meal, and if they grow up eating breakfast they may carry that on to adulthood. Try a honey cereal, see if he likes that.

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