We’ve all been there…It’s 7:30am. We’re running around looking for lost shoes and homework assignments. We’re feeding the baby while checking backpacks. We MAYBE will get the chance to glance in the mirror and make sure we won’t scare anyone in the carpool line. The last thing we need to be worrying about is waiting for our kids to decide what to eat!
I found that we were wasting so much time each morning on the “But I Don’t Want Cereal” merry-go-round. I am convinced I could have suggested 2 dozen things and each would have promptly been shut down. Forget having the kids agree on a breakfast food…I was sick and tired of waiting for my kids to decide on an acceptable breakfast, snack, lunch etc. Towards that end, I created a breakfast menu, lunch menu, and snack menu for my children. (Dinner is non-negotiable at our house. If they don’t want what I have prepared, they get to go to bed hungry.)
This simple little tool has done wonders in our house! In the beginning, this will be a fun novelty for your kids. They will look forward to choosing from the menu, especially if your family does not go out to eat regularly. Since you get to decide what you put on the menu, you are allowing both you and your child to have shared control of their meals. Allowing your child to have a choice will decrease the fussing and fighting over food in the morning. (And yes, they will begin to select options they had previously whined about! TRUST ME, things like oatmeal and scrambled eggs will magically transform into the most desirable delicacies.) After awhile, your kids may not need the menus anymore, as they will be more aware of the options that are available to them.
To make your own menu, open up a blank Word document. Decide on the choices you would like to offer to your children. Using clipart or a simple images search on google.com, look for pictures of each food selection. (Even if your child can read, the little picture will make the activity fun, and more desirable to them.) What if you run out of oatmeal? (or anything else on the menu). Simply slip your menus into plastic page protectors. If you run out of an option, or if you running late, and don’t have time to prepare pancakes etc., simply cross off the selection with a dry erase marker.
I am including the menus that I created for my own children for you to look at. Feel free to use them in your own home, or to simply use them as a template to guide your own menus. Try them out at home, and let me know if they work for you!
Have fun with your own little “restaurant.” I hope your children will love this as much as mine do! Have a great week, and here’s to less fussing, and more peaceful mealtimes.