Why does my child refuse to eat breakfast? How can I encourage him/her to have breakfast every day?

2019.08.14

Many parents are worried when their child refuses to eat breakfast. Mornings are already very busy and when your child makes a fuss it can be really frustrating.
Why do children refuse to eat breakfast?
In this article, we will cover the reasons and some tips for parents to follow to encourage their child to eat.

Why does my child refuse to eat breakfast? How can I encourage him/her to have breakfast every day?

Reasons why children don’t eat breakfast

Their stomach is not ready for food
The main reason many children do not want to eat breakfast is because they just woke up and they are not ready to eat yet.
Children have smaller stomachs than adults and it takes them some time after they wake up to feel hungry. No matter how delicious the food smells or looks, if you offer to your child before his/her stomach wakes up he/she will not want to eat it.

When your child ate dinner late or had a lot of snacks before he/she went to bed, he/she will most likely not be hungry in the morning.

When you have sweets out instead of breakfast foods
Have you ever tried giving your child a cookie (or small sweet) just so that he/she would have something in his stomach before he/she leaves for school? If you start this habit, he/she will turn down rice/bread for sweets every morning.

How to get your child to eat breakfast

Encourage him/her to wake up early and do some exercise before breakfast
Start by encouraging your child to wake up early. If he/she enjoys the sunlight and does some exercise after waking up, he/she will work up an appetite.
Some possible activities include getting the newspaper or going on a short walk inside or outside.

Eat dinner on the early side
It has been shown that it is best to finish eating at least 3 hours before bedtime. Also, eating too much at dinner time can cause the digestion process to continue until the morning. To avoid having your child eat too much before bedtime, it is a good idea to try to eat dinner on the early side. If you need to eat dinner at a later time, it is best to keep the amount on the small side.

Limit snacks and desserts after meals!
Eating too many desserts and sweet snacks requires a lot energy for the digestion process. Sometimes, children eat a lot of dinner but are still hungry for sweets and end up eating until late at night. This will have an impact on the next morning so parents should be careful.

Provide foods that are easy to eat!
If parents provide foods that are easy to eat, some children will eat even if they are not really hungry. Small size onigiri, small sandwiches, vegetable juice or smoothies, cereal and yogurt are some good ideas.

Small portions are OK
When you are not hungry, if you see a lot of food in front of you, you often become even less hungry. It is important to eat a little every morning. Getting your child in the habit of eating every morning even if it is just a little to begin with. You can always increase the amount they eat later.

Some parents get angry at their child when he/she doesn’t want to eat breakfast. However, this action will only encourage your child to hate breakfast even more.
It is best if parents try to relax and try to understand their child’s situation. This will make eating fun for your child which is an important habit for the future.

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