I have a confession to make. My children and I have a breakfast routine. It’s true. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we eat oatmeal. On Tuesday and Thursday, we have the choice of either a bagel with a flavored cream cheese of choice or a healthy cereal of choice. Saturdays, hubby likes to make a hot breakfast, and Sundays I let the kids have poptarts (I usually opt for a protein bar). The convenience of poptarts help keep the flow of things so we can hustle out the door to church. (And not gonna lie, it also helps keep a smile on their faces by giving them something to look forward to.)
Now before you write me off as completely neurotic or OCD, let me assure you, there’s a reason to this madness, I promise. You see, my 8 year old daughter and 5 year old son are one of those children who find comfort in a predictable routine. They wake up in the morning and know exactly what’s for breakfast. Most children, in fact, benefit from a routine.
Because the concept of time can be difficult for children, particularly for children who are preliterate, having a breakfast routine helps break up the week in a way that they can understand. Bonus: It can also help them learn the days of the week. By pairing the weekdays with a particular ritual they know and expect, it helps separate that day from the rest and also makes the name of the day more tangible. You will frequently hear my 5 year old ask if today is Oatmeal Day Monday or Cereal Day Tuesday.
Bonus number 2: Having a breakfast routine puts me on auto pilot, which is great for rushed mornings and mornings where I could have used a little more beauty rest. It has also eliminated much of the morning indecisiveness and the many food battles that used to come with too many options too early in the AM. Because the morning already has too many things going on for this mama to have to deal with one more battle or glitch.
Lastly, having a breakfast routine is CHEAP!
Why? Because I know what to expect when it comes to making room for breakfast in my grocery budget. A box of cereal stretches for longer than a week. Hot breakfast (and poptarts) is something to look forward to together on the weekend. And I make my own large batches of oatmeal at home. I don’t waste my money on those little packet things, thus bringing my total cost down. Plus, as they say, “when I make it, I know what’s in it.”
Want to make your own bulk oatmeal? Check back soon for my family’s favorite recipe next week.