I remember when my oldest daughter started Kindergarten. It was the first time we ever had to be on a regular schedule in the mornings, and honestly, it threw me for a loop. I turned into a real grouch trying to get a grip on the morning rush. I started to become a yeller. “Where are your shoes!?” “Turn off cartoons and eat!” “We’re Late! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” After a few days of this, my husband pulled me aside and asked me to stop with the yelling every morning. Not only was it irritating to the whole family, but I was stressing out our daughter every day before we left. “You don’t want to send her off to school stressed out or in a bad mood every day, do you?” Well, of course not! If she isn’t in her best mindset when I send her to school, she won’t perform her best in her studies. We sat down and came up with a game plan on how to get mornings started on the right foot. Just by taking a few extra minutes to plan things out ahead of time made all the difference. Simple things like laying out clothes the night before, keeping bins by the door that we need to grab on the way out, and making sure we had plenty of breakfast options on hand so we didn’t have to fight though “There’s nothing to eat!” every morning.
Happy mornings start with breakfast. It is definitely the most important meal of the day. It fuels our bodies, preparing us to face the day with energy. It is also a great time to connect with your family before you all go about your own day. I know there are many families who start their days rushed like we used to, but having your family take just 7 minutes in the morning to connect over breakfast can actually bring families closer together! Cheerios is asking families to participate in the Family Breakfast Project. As part of the Family Breakfast Project, Cheerios will be encouraging families to take seven minutes for seven days to have family breakfast and explore the possibilities that it brings.
Each morning, take seven minutes to bond with your family, completing different activities and challenges. Cheerios has a great packet available for download to get you started. There are some really helpful hints to make mornings less hectic and more about family bonding. Such as:
-Prep the pantry. Organize shelves where kids can reach items. Place cereal bowls and utensils within their reach.
-Create Breakfast Drawers. Keep breakfast items grouped together, such as Cheerios or any cereal of your choice, peanut butter, raisins and granola bars. In the fridge, yogurt, fruit cups, cheese sticks and apple slices. This will encourage children to make their own breakfast, or even some for their siblings!
- At the breakfast table, have conversation starters ready. Have the family tell what they are most looking forward to that day, and what they are most worried about. At dinner, keep the conversations going by having everyone share how those hopes and fears panned out.
- Create a Simple Acts of Kindness Jar. Fill a jar with random acts of kindness. Have each family member draw one, then challenge them to follow through with it that day. At dinner, have everyone report how it went. You can find a printable Random Acts of Kindness Sheet right on the Family Breakfast Project page to get you started.
- Get kids creative in the kitchen. As hard as we try, some mornings are still rushed. Since I insist on every member having breakfast each morning, having the family pitch in to make simple, on the go cereal bars is a great idea. This is a recipe that my family loves. It’s quick and easy to make, and the family can eat it on the run.
4 tbsp unsalted butter
10 oz package marshmallows
6 cups regular Cheerios cereal
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
In a heavy pan, butter over low heat. Add marshmallows, stirring frequently until melted and combined with the butter.
Remove from heat. Stir in cereal and dried cranberries. Allow to cool for several minutes, then add mini chocolate chips. Stir to incorporate into the mixture.
Spread mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet (10 x 15) lined with wax paper coated with cook spray. Using a spatula or hands coated with cook spray, gently pack mixture down.
Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
Once set, cut into desired breakfast bar sizes and store in an airtight container.
There are many more family bonding morning activity suggestions available in the downloadable packet, so be sure to browse through and take the Cheerios Family Breakfast Project this week!
*What are some things your family does to bond each morning?
Disclosure: The information has been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op in promotion of the Family Breakfast Program. I received a promotional item to help facilitate this post. No monetary compensation was provided. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by promotional items.