I dedicate this post to all of you who choose your battles wisely when it comes to your kids eating well.
I'm not a morning person. I like to sleep in, start slow, drink my coffee and ease into the day. A parental reality check makes this scenario impossible. Instead, it's a race to get the kids up, dressed, fed, organized and out the door on time. What makes matters worse, no matter how grumpy I am in the morning, I am extremely aware of how important a healthy breakfast is for my family.
Although there are some variations, there is a breakfast pattern we follow most mornings. Hubby makes french toast for my son, which is served with a ton of fruit and a glass of milk. My son was wired to eat healthy, so he easily gets his grains, protein and fruit every morning.
My daughter is more challenging. She's all about sweet. It became a bit of a breakfast battle until I figured out a sneaky win/win solution.
Every morning I make pancakes. Sometimes I buy frozen buttermilk pancakes, other days when I'm organized I make the batter for these apple buttermilk pancakes the night before. And here's my secret weapon. I add a bunch of fruit—bananas, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries—and drizzle them with Nesquik chocolate syrup. She wolfs these down every morning without fail. Sure I'm feeding my little one a bit of chocolate syrup, but filling her up with a bunch of healthy foods at the same time.
As for getting her to drink her milk in the morning? Forget about it. Unless it's flavoured, she's not drinking. This is a common problem many exhausted parents have to deal with. According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, as kids get older, their milk consumption decreases: 37 per cent of children aged 4 to 9 aren't getting drinking enough milk. And the stats on older kids are even worse.
So here's where picking your battles come in. No one wants to jack up her kids on sugar in the morning. I used to buy chocolate milk so my daughter would drink her protein. But I've read some reports indicating there is too much sugar in pre-made chocolate milk. Instead, I make my own by adding a bit of Nesquik (I buy the bottle that says 25% less sugar). My special sneaky step: get it looking like a milk shake with a frother. I do my best to find that happy balance of a big glass of cold milk with just a few squeezes of Nesquik to appease the picky one. She loves when I make her milk pink (strawberry flavour).
Actually, it's not just breakfast I sneak extra milk and fruit into my little monsters. At snack time, we love making milkshakes, throwing in a medley of milk, fruits, ice, greek yoghurt and a few squeezes of our trusty Nesquik chocolate syrup into our blender. (For my daughter, it wouldn't be a milkshake without chocolate).
And finally, my evil trick for a healthy dessert? I'm all about letting my kids pig out on junk food after a good dinner. They're usually too full to eat all that much of the sweet stuff. But what kid (or husband) can resist a scoop of ice cream topped off with a full cut up banana or any other yummy fruit? Dab on some whipped cream and drizzle with Nesquik. I call it the Incredible Disappearing Dessert.
For me, that's a win/win situation.
Join The Nesquik More Milk Movement on the Nesquik Canada Facebook page. You'll receive a one-dollar coupon for Nesquik to kick start your pledge to make sure your kids are getting enough milk.
And then enter our contest to win a $200 Breakfast Smoothie Prize Pack courtesy of Nesquik.