Get a Sleepyhead to Eat a Good Breakfast

Posted by in No-Cry Picky Eater

Does your child wake up slowly with no appetite first thing in the morning? That’s a challenge worth solving because by the time the breakfast hour rolls around she might not have had anything to eat for as long as twelve to eighteen hours. This early nutrition is critically important to her health and well-being, so it’s worth the effort to find creative ways to convince her to have some breakfast.

Forget a meal – make it a “snack.”

A child who isn’t in the mood for breakfast will likely reject a big meal. So don’t try to convince her to eat one. Instead, think of this more as a “morning snack.” Referring to it this way might even help to convince her to eat.


Patrick 15 Months

Keep it light.

Provide something light, like toast with peanut butter, or yogurt and granola. These will likely be more acceptable than a bigger meal to a child who isn’t feeling very hungry.

Try a liquid breakfast.

A child who doesn’t want to eat might be willing to partake of a breakfast drink. Try a smoothie made of yogurt and fruit.

Opt for a non-traditional breakfast.

Who says you have to have cereal, eggs, or toast? If your child enjoys a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a serving of yesterday’s leftover dinner, that works!



Provide choices.

Instead of plunking down a plate of food, give your child a choice of two of three options. If she’s got some say in the menu she may be more willing to eat. A beginning reader will get a kick out of a “breakfast menu” — write down the choices on paper with boxes for her to check off her selection!

Be consistent.

Provide this “morning snack” at the exact same time span from her waking up each morning – such as fifteen to twenty minutes after she wakes up. If you stick to this schedule her system will adjust and she’ll begin to expect something to eat at that time each day.



Share: What does your little one eat for breakfast?



  1. My daughter will not sit in her chair to eat her breakfast. However, if I let her eat off my plate as she runs around playing, she will eat. She loves to take the food I offer and run to the living room and “feed” it to her baby doll before consuming it herself and coming back to tell me “baby needs more eggs!” (DD is 20 months). If I sit her in her chair to eat, I’m lucky if she eats one bite.

    • Hi Michele – Sounds like you found a good solution! Actually, lots of little ones will do this so it’s OK to set out a tray of nibbles and let her snack her morning meal. She’ll outgrow this in time, don’t worry!