I don’t know about you, but January is an undesirable month at our house. The whirlwind of the holiday season is over, and we’re suddenly back to the grind. The days are short — we wake up when it’s dark, and it’s dark again before the work day is over. We spend a lot of our time inside, because it’s too cold and dark to go outside. Ugh. At least there’s hot cocoa.
One of the hardest things for us is waking the kids up on a cold school morning and getting them moving and operative. We spend so much time dragging and prodding that we end up in scramble mode in order to get to school on time. Backpacks are thrown together, sometimes leaving homework behind, and lunches are “creatively” packed. Forget the French braid and the cute hair bows — we’re lucky if we have time to run a comb through everyone’s hair. Some days, the concept of a hot breakfast is an unattainable dream. Many days, the most I can do is pass each kid a granola bar or a toaster waffle as we run out the door.
One day, I realized that it was time to step it up a notch, so I decided that I would start incentivizing the kids each morning with a great breakfast! We made a deal that if we all wake up on time each day and get ready quickly, then I’ll use the extra time to make something really good for breakfast.
Our breakfast “bribe” has been fun and very effective. You wouldn’t believe how they pop up out of bed when I tell them that we’re having bacon for part of their breakfast. They’re a lot faster at getting their beds made and their shoes on when they know there’s oatmeal and fresh fruit waiting for them in the kitchen. Some of our other favorite breakfasts are French toast, breakfast burritos, pancakes, and scrambled eggs.
Not only has it really helped us get past the sluggishness of winter, it has also really helped with Kaitlyn’s blood sugar levels. We’ve all heard the saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day;” and I find that to be absolutely true for Kaitlyn. A thoughtful and planned-out meal is almost always better for her than a quick (and usually very carb-heavy) breakfast. Cereal has been just about the worst thing ever for Kaitlyn’s blood-sugar numbers in the mid-morning hours, because it spikes her up fast and then drops her even faster. This blood-sugar roller coaster seems to happen during the first few hours of school instruction—typically a really important part of her day. How can I expect her to be able to focus if her numbers are off?
Here’s to a healthier start for all of us!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.