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Any subtle ideas on how to get my teenager to eat breakfast

(32 Posts)
Bookend Mon 13-Oct-08 05:24:26

She started about a month ago but eating (nibbling) her breakfast. Now its nothing at all. Just lunch and dinner. Any discussions we have end with me asking her to eat breakfast and with her saying she doesn't enjoy eating it anymore.

Don't want to make too big a deal about it...but it's getting to be a habit. Any ideas....I'm really worried. thanks

ClaudiaSchiffer Mon 13-Oct-08 05:28:51

Could she manage something small - fruit? Smoothie? Is she generally cutting out meals or just breakfast? I know I couldn't face breakfast early in the a.m before school so would she take a snack to eat later?

Are you worried about her weight? Is she losing weight?

seeker Mon 13-Oct-08 05:34:18

My dd "doesn't like eating in the morning" (Unless it happens to be a pain au chocolat, or pancakes with syrup, in which case, she suddenly discovers that she does like breakfast after all!)

How about a glass of milk and some fruit? Or a smoothie with fruit and yoghurt?

Or a cereal bar to eat on the bus - my dd has one in her bag all the time in case of a hungry moment in an attempt to stop her buying chocolate.

bleurgh Mon 13-Oct-08 06:03:13

Maybe an odd idea but.. I find that if I give my son a cup of tea in the morning (I take it to his room blush) it sort of whets his appetite and he's more likely to eat something. Even if he just takes a banana or fajita bread it's something. I will let him eat anything (so long as it's not junk food of course).

roisin Mon 13-Oct-08 08:07:24

I really struggle to eat breakfast and have to force myself, so I have some sympathy for your dd.

Smoothies can go down well - get the blender out and lots of yummy fruit. Offer her various alternatives: pain au chocolat, toast, bacon butty, all sorts.

roisin Mon 13-Oct-08 08:08:55

ds1 isn't a great breakfast eater and generally doesn't like cereals. But he enjoys porridge with apple puree, so I make that every morning.

Sometimes it's just about them not really waking up properly, or not having sufficient time before they have to be out of the house to get their appetites going.

SmugColditz Mon 13-Oct-08 08:09:51

I stopped eating breakfast a a teenager - is she going to bed early enough?

It wasn't an attempt to lose weight with me, it was because I couldn't bear to put things in my mouth.

BecauseImAWitch Mon 13-Oct-08 08:18:35

Refusal of breakfast is non-negotiable here, and I don't do subtle I'm afraid!

Breakfast is provided, with some choices, and boys eat it. They are teenagers, but they are boys, so no idea if it's different with girls.

If she's doing it because she can't bear to eat, then make sure she drinks plenty of milk. (On its own or in a smoothie/milkshake), then at least she is getting some nutrition before she leaves the house, and give her some kind of snack to take with her.

If it's because she's trying to diet, this is a more difficult issue, and I wouldn't know how to deal with this I'm afraid.

SmugColditz Mon 13-Oct-08 08:21:39

I don't really know how you force someone to eat while they are gagging though, which is what happens if I try to eat breakfast in the morning.

How about a cup of horlicks for her?

AbbeyA Mon 13-Oct-08 08:26:15

DS3 won't eat breakfast on a school morning-he says it is too early. He eats a good breakfast at weekends. I have told him the health reasons for eating it and it is provided, if he doesn't eat it then it is his choice.

BecauseImAWitch Mon 13-Oct-08 08:27:53

I might not be subtle, but I wouldn't force anyone if they were gagging, to eat!

Which is why I recommended the milk ...

lilibet Mon 13-Oct-08 08:29:53

We have recently changed our pocket money routine for our two ds's (15 and 11)

They get £5 a week but money is deducted if they don't eat breakfast don't make their sandwiches the night before, don't fill in their planner and don't keep their rooms tidy.

Since we did this, ds1 who hadn't eatend breakfast on a weekday for ages had had breakfast every day.

Cold hard cash always works for the teenagers in our house grin

Bookend Mon 13-Oct-08 08:50:10

thanks everyone...I think she is similiar to you SmugColditz. She eats well in the evening and weekend.

lilibet...I don't know if its a girl thing or not...but I feel like I'm talking to a mature person who tells me she feels ill eating so early. Docking money etc., worked about a year isn't working now.

Today I persuaded her to have one Weetabix...she shuffled it around the bowl and then seemed to try and eat it and put it down quickly. I think she's trying to eat but cannot.

She enjoys smoothies so I'll stock up on them. It really puts a dampner on our mornings and I don't want to then have issues with her sister.

thanks for all your advice...wish me luck

wingandprayer Mon 13-Oct-08 09:22:54

I was like your dd and hated breakfast- still struggle now tbh and dread the fact I may be influencing my kids to think it's not important when it so is. I also had several occasions when I fainted at school because I'd not eaten anything. I think just offering some choice without going mad might help tempt her. Someone suggested horlicks already but big mug of that or ovaltine or even hot chocolate with muesli bar or slice of wholemeal toast will get her started. I make lovely smoothies now using half pint of milk, banana, handful of porridge oats, and if in thd fridge blueberries or raspberries. Takes five mins to make

Maybe make sure she's got some healthy snacks for break time too to help top her up properly when she does feel more like eating.

cory Mon 13-Oct-08 09:33:02

I have given up with dd. I'd rather she got to school than was busy throwing up her breakfast when the taxi arrives. I give her enough money to buy a small roll or a banana from the canteen at first break.

NappiesLaGore Mon 13-Oct-08 09:41:46

is she doing it coz she thinks shes fat (like just about every other teenager in the developed world) or is it coz she just doesnt fancy eating first thing. lots of people dont.

if it is a weight thing, tell her eating a good brekkie will mean she will eat less lunch or dinner and that its 'better' to eat your calories in the morning when you have the day ahead of you to burn them off.

Rubyrubyruby Mon 13-Oct-08 09:47:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PenelopePitstops Mon 13-Oct-08 09:49:59

i used to do this, nothing to do with weight i just couldnt bear to eat in the morning partly because i didn't get up early enough to feel like eating anything. Mum used to send me on my way with a banana whiich i would have eaten before i got to school (i used to walk) and if i didnt i would eat it at break.

DOes she have any sort of journey to school that she could eat a piece of fruit on because its slightly later in the morning?

Smoothies ware a good idea, i would have maybe had them because they are more like a juice.

Tortington Mon 13-Oct-08 09:52:13

my kids can't resist cereal, i do honey nut - its gone in hours.

however i have also done cereal bars. which she cn eat on the way to school - that went down ok - until she was eating them after school and for supper.......grin

CherryChapstick Mon 13-Oct-08 09:55:40

Say no more about it, just hand her a Nutrigrain bar on the way out the door.
My DD is just the same, I put breakfast in front of her, she just doesn't want to eat early in the morning, however at the weekend when we eat later she eats loads.

MrsMattie Mon 13-Oct-08 09:56:59

Could she manage a smoothie?

Bookend Mon 13-Oct-08 12:19:28

Yes, MrsMattie, she had a smoothie the other day and enjoyed it, I think I will just offer her that from now on. CC, I'll get some Nutrigrain bars.

NLG, she's not worried about her weight, thank goodness. She eats a big tea and on weekends she eats really well.

She has about half an hour walk to school and is big on sports etc., she just cannot seem to stomach a normal ....cereal, toast, breakfast. Previously, she has asked for fruit and then just stared at it till its time to go to school.

As I love my breakfast, I haven't been able to understand but am relieved, thanks PP &WAP, that a lot of you feel the same about breakfast.

Custardo...I wish those days where they would tuck into a big bowl of porridge...and ask for more (!!)....were back again. sad

MrsMattie Mon 13-Oct-08 12:21:08

You can add all sorts of nutritious things to smoothies / milkshakes. If she'll give them a try, maybe that would be a good compromise.

p.s. I sympathise with your worry (as a mum!), but also remember being a teenager who absolutely couldn't face breakfast before school!

Hadassah Mon 13-Oct-08 12:28:32

I did not eat breakfast as a teenager - just had coffee (with milk as ym father felt black coffee was too acidic), and nothing bad has happened. I am absoulutely fine and still don't eat breakfast.

Bookend Mon 13-Oct-08 15:37:52

Thank you MrsM and H. this is why I adore mumsnet. Where else can you pose a question and get 'constructive help', in a kind way so quickly?

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