star charts and breakfast trifle


Deciding that our star chart system was in need of some new enthusiasm to encourage good behaviour, I took inspiration from Emily Carlisle at more than just a mother.  Our new chart is a childlike picture of mud, grass, flowers, a tree with a swing and treehouse then sunshine above. I would like to claim the drawing is by my 5 year old, would reflect better on both of us, but afraid it’s by me.

Ruby started in the mud but by behaving well has risen to the flowers. When she arrives at the sunshine, there’ll be some sort of treat. I’d suggested that Guy and I should be on there too but he thinks that at 5 your parents shouldn’t be seen languishing in the mud too much, we should be infallible. I think it’s a bit too late for that, but have agreed that Mog and Tiger can join Ruby on the chart.

In an effort to haul myself out of the mud I decided to be enthusiastic about healthy breakfasts again. At the weekend it’s particularly easy with less time pressure to get Ruby involved in making something more exciting. If she’s made it herself, she’s even more likely to tuck in with relish. And possibly edge onto the swing.

Yesterday we made breakfast trifles with oats, greek yoghurt and lots of healthy berries. In season, blackcurrants, raspberries or blackberries are great. The only blackberries we have at the moment are in whiskey and I thought using those would’ve kept me firmly down in the mud. So I made an indulgent purchase of blueberries, although was able to use strawberries we’d frozen from the summer days of gluts. Their tendency to lose texture in the freezer is fine here (as it is in milkshakes and smoothies) as they get mashed into a sort of rustic puree with honey anyway. I had some home-made blackberry sauce left to drizzle over our breakfast puds too. And we made enough to give us a tasty, healthy start to the more challenging Monday morning. Maybe I still have hope of rising to the sun and a Monday evening glass of wine.


Berry Lovely Breakfast Trifles

100g porridge oats

125 ml apple juice

500g strawberries (can be frozen ones in the winter)

3 teaspoons honey

125g plain or greek yoghurt

150g berries (blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries or blueberries/a mixture of whatever you have handy)

blackberry sauce, optional (I just heat blackberries with a little sugar for a few minutes, then push through a sieve. Good with ice-cream or pancakes too)

Mix the oats and apple juice in a bowl and cover then leave in the fridge for an hour or overnight. Mash the stawberries with the honey. Now simply take about 5 glasses and layer oats, yoghurt, strawberry mixture, berries and blackberry sauce in an order that you or your children feel is pleasing.

9 thoughts on “star charts and breakfast trifle

  1. I have something similar on my fridge that we use with my 4 year old. It’s a sun, a white cloud and a black cloud. Good behaviour means your fridge magnet gets to stay on the sun, moderate naughtiness gets a spell on the white cloud and a full blown naughty episode gets a black cloud. We adopted it from my son’s school as they use it also and it really does seem to help.

  2. That’s a really good idea, I might try something similar for my son. He’s actually very well behaved most of the time and does get upset if he thinks he’s done something naughty, but I think that making it a gradual progression would suit him.

    • My daughter hates being told that she’s naughty too, it’s tricky isn’t it. The idea of this chart is that you can go down as well as up – but I think moving her down will be tough!

  3. You definitely deserve to move up the star chart for posting such a lovely,healthy recipe! Be warned though – there comes a day when star charts are no longer effective, make the most of them while you can!

  4. What a fab and exceedingly healthy idea for breakfast. And what a totally gorgeous ethos for a reward chart. We’ve recently started with a reward chart for my 4 yr old daughter, and she gets points for sleeping all night in her bed, eating her breakfast, lunch, dinner without fuss, no tantrums after school etc etc. Seems to working pretty well, though is costing us a fortune in horse rides…if she gets 20 points she gets a horse ride!.

  5. My little one is on the young side to be interested in star charts for very long. And there are so many stickers around – in magazines, books etc that getting a sticker for good behaviour is a bit ‘whatever’ to her – but I am looking to the time when she realises that points make prizes! Breakfast is largely focused around cereal but I shall have to try these out !


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