Monday, May 21, 2012

Hold on: Are Teddy Grahams an Acceptable Breakfast?

My main method of getting my older son to eat lately has been bribing him with Lucky Charms. And when I say Lucky Charms, I mean the crunchy, colored, ambiguously-shaped marshmallows from Lucky Charms. That's all he wants to eat.

Thankfully, I've been able to condition him to the point that he knows he has to eat something nutritious before he can have Lucky Charms, and then has to eat all of the cereal bits before he can have another helping of Lucky Charms (sidebar: my son needs to gain weight. I initially bought the Lucky Charms because he showed interest in them, and I figured the oat cereal element had to have some kind of nutritional value. Who knows). So this morning, probably before I'd had my first sip of coffee--as is usually the case with moms in general--Bug asked in an "I'm trying not to sound whiny" voice, "Mom, if I eat something healthy first, can I have some Lucky Charms?" I said yes, mainly because I'm worried about my own vascular health. I can't have my head exploding at 6:20 am over an easily-avoided tantrum.

We ended up having scrambled eggs with cheese and frozen GoGurt before the Lucky Charms. Bug then asked me if he could have some Teddy Grahams after he finished his cereal pieces. My knee-jerk reaction: of course not! You can't have Teddy Grahams for breakfast!

Buuuuuuuuut...why not? Are Teddy Grahams any worse than Lucky Charms, or any other sugar-cereal, or GoGurt, for that matter? Since I had already made the decision, I couldn't back down, but was I being rational? Should I have been glad the kid was showing interest in eating, period? Or are some things just arbitrarily off-limits first thing in the morning?

Give me your two cents on breakfast...yea or nay for Teddy Grahams? GoGurt? (Or for the grown-up crowd--soda? Cold pizza? Leftover chicken wings?) I need answers!


  1. I try to enforce a breakfast-food-for-breakfast policy, but since my husband will eat leftover chili for breakfast, i get overruled sometimes. My solution for the sugary cereal dilemma is to mix a box of sugary stuff & a box of plain cheerios or kix or bran flakes together in a tupperware container. It cuts the sugar content in each bowl, and amps up the nutrition. I wouldn't stress about the go-gurt. There are far worse things he could eat.Teddy grahams are a nutritional zero, but a great bargaining tool. Show him the serving size on the side of the box, and portion out that many for the day. Tell him he can eat them all at once, or a few after each meal, but he has to finish the meal before he gets them. and remember, kids' nutritional needs are calculated through the week, not the day, so if he eats pretty good most days, don't stress about it.

  2. Tracie, I love the serving size idea, AND the budgeting strategy! On the flip side, my other guy has been chowing down on raw broccoli and dip, so my mothering isn't a COMPLETE flop!! :)