Circular 1037-10
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By Kathryn Tarulli, Dr. Diane Bales and Dr. Charlotte Wallinga — Department of Human Development and Family Science

Eat Breakfast: Eating breakfast helps your family start the day in a healthy way.

Some children do not want to eat in the morning, but breakfast is an essential meal of the day. Breakfast helps fuel the body with energy to start the day, keeps you full longer, and provides many needed nutrients. Eating breakfast often leads to improved concentration and moods. It also provides an opportunity to spend time with your family.

One way to help your child enjoy breakfast is to make your healthy meal fun! Allow your child to be safely involved in the preparation when possible, letting him or her mix ingredients, pour batter, or decorate plates.

Here are some ideas to help make breakfast fun for your family:

Mouse Pancakes
Transform this classic breakfast by connecting two small circles of pancake batter to one larger circle. Add apples, blueberries, or raisins to the pancakes for variety.

Heart Waffles
Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to create a fun, healthy breakfast. Make whole grain waffles into fun shapes.

Family Fun Activity: Fruit Parfait

Use this easy activity to help your child learn.

fruit parfait

What You Need:

  • Fruit of any kind, such as:
    • Berries
    • Oranges
    • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Granola or crunchy cereal
  • Glass

What To Do:

  • Help your child make a healthy breakfast Provide a glass for a fruit parfait
  • Teach your child how to layer spoonfuls of the ingredients into the glass
  • Give your child options of what to include in the parfait
  • Talk to your child about the different colors and tastes of the food choices
  • As you and your child enjoy your parfaits, talk about the importance of eating breakfast

This is publication 10 out of 24 in the Eat Healthy, Be Active: Keeping Children Healthy at Home and School series. For more information visit

Status and Revision History
Published on May 13, 2014
Published with Full Review on Mar 28, 2017

Diane W Bales Assoc Professor & Human Dev Spec, Family & Consumer Sciences
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