Over the past 12 months, there has been a lot in the national press about the numbers of children who are arriving at school without having eaten any breakfast. More schools have introduced breakfast clubs, in some cases financially supported by the teachers, to ensure that pupils get that all important start to their day. The benefits of a good breakfast to see us all through our day are well-documented and as a Mum, I’ve tried install those principles in my children.
G is a fantastic breakfast eater and always has been. I remember, at an early age, picking her up from nursery and being told by the astounded key-worker that she had eaten 3 whole weetabix for her breakfast that morning. What amazed me more, was that she had already eaten a full bowl of cereal (2 weetabix) at home before getting to nursery – where my tiny mite had put those 5 weetabix we will never know, She happily munches her way through an overflowing bowl of rice pops and cornflakes with raisins and milk and, if she has enough time, then another bowl will be consumed too.
M is the complete polar opposite of his sister. He is much more like me and doesn’t like to eat as soon as he wakes up in the morning. The problem is that due to his sleep issues, I inevitably have to wake him for school and even showering and dressing before we attempt breakfast rarely achieves much success. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get M to eat even a scrap of breakfast, which simply reflects his current health and declining appetite.
Which is why I’m constantly and desperately searching for a tasty morsel that will entice him to eat first thing, whilst being relatively healthy. We’ve tried toast, bacon sandwiches, cereal, porridge, fresh fruit and yoghurts, all with relatively limited success. One day he’ll eat something like it’s going out of fashion, the next day it’s like getting blood from a stone. I was stuck for ideas until last weekend, when inspiration hit. We were up in London for an extended celebration of my Mum’s birthday and at breakfast on the Sunday morning, G disappeared off to the buffet and came back bearing a mini chocolate chip muffin for me as a thank you for taking them to London for the weekend.
As I munched my way through this tiny treat, it struck me that it was just the thing that might tantalise M’s tastebuds first thing in the morning. All I needed to do was find a muffin recipe and do some of my free-from jiggery-pokery to turn it into the perfect M-friendly nibble. We had a huge amount of rapidly-browning bananas in the fridge, so a recipe for banana muffins seemed the obvious choice. I found one, played around with the ingredients and ended up with this wonderful looking batch:
Excited by the instant success, and with some left-over bacon and soya- and dairy- free cheese (yes such a thing really does exist) lurking in the bottom of the fridge, I found, adapted and baked a recipe for bacon and cheese muffins. These turned out a little more anaemic-looking and seem to be a recipe I’m going to need to tweak a little more to perfect:
So, from one evening’s work, I’ve found 2 new recipes – banana muffins and bacon & cheese muffins – and have a pair of happy children. The only problem? As much as M loves the muffins, it appears they weren’t the weapons I was searching for and the battle to get him to eat breakfast rages on!